IFC Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights from HanWay Films on Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s “Hot Milk,” starring Academy Award nominee Jessie Buckley, Fiona Shaw and Vicky Krieps.
Streaming service MUBI has also agreed a multi-territory deal for the film in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Latin America and Turkey. Meanwhile, HanWay has also sold the pic into Metropolitan Films (France), The Searchers (Benelux), Scanbox (Scandinavia), M2 (Eastern Europe), A-One (Baltics), Front Row (Middle East) and Shaw (Singapore).
The film marks the directorial debut for acclaimed screenwriter Lenkiewicz, whose writing credits include Pawel Pawlikowski’s Oscar-winning “Ida,” Keira Knightley-led biopic “Colette” and the forthcoming Harvey Weinstein drama “She Said.”
“Hot Milk” is based on the bestselling novel by Deborah Levy and centers on the relationship between single mother Rose (Shaw) and her daughter Sofia (Buckley), who travel to southern Spain in order to see a medical consultant that might yield answers to Rose’s mystery illness that’s put her in a wheelchair.
But in the sultry atmosphere of a sun-bleached town, Sofia, who has been trapped by her mother’s illness all her life, finally starts to shed her inhibitions, enticed by the persuasive charms of enigmatic traveller Ingrid (Krieps). Sofia’s increased freedom becomes too much for her controlling mother, and their relationship simmers with pent-up resentments and bitterness, threatening to tear the fragile threads that hold them together, and leading them to a dramatic conclusion.
Buckley was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar earlier this year for her performance in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter,” based on the Elena Ferrante novel, which dealt with a similarly complex relationship between a mother and her daughters.
“Hot Milk” was developed by Bonnie Prods. together with Film4 and is produced by Christine Langan and Kate Glover. Executive producers are Farhana Bhula, Ollie Madden and Daniel Battsek for Film4.
Heads of production include cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt (“Emma,” “First Cow”), costume designer Sophie O’Neill (“The Outfit,” “Ali & Ava”), production designer Maxine Carlier (“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” “Fish Tank”), editor Lucia Zucchetti (“The Queen,” “Ratcatcher”) and makeup and hair designer Nicole Stafford (“Men,” “The Death of Stalin”).
The deal with IFC was negotiated between HanWay Films managing director Gabrielle Stewart with IFC Films president Arianna Bocco and senior VP of acquisitions Scott Shooman for the Bonnie Prods. feature.
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