Lesley Manville, most recently seen as Princess Margaret in the final seasons of “The Crown,” is to lead “Winter of the Crow,” now shooting in Warsaw, Poland.
Ahead of the European Film Market in Berlin, HanWay is launching worldwide sales on the feature, based on the short story by Olga Tokarczuk, a Nobel Literature Prize and International Booker Prize winner and one of the most critically acclaimed and successful authors of her generation in Poland.
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Alongside Manville, soon to be seen in “Back to Black,” the sporting cast includes Tom Burke (“True Things,” “The Souvenir,” “Only God Forgives”), Zofia Wichłacz (“World on Fire” and a European Shooting Star winner at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017) and Andrzej Konopka (“The Lure,” “Nina”).
From award-winning director and storyboard artist Kasia Adamik (winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017 for “Spoor”), “Winter of the Crow” is a Cold War thriller set in the surreal and cinematic world of 1981 Warsaw.
When martial law is imposed overnight, shutting down the country, visiting guest lecturer British psychiatry professor Dr Joan Andrews (Manville) arrives just as taxis have been replaced by tanks and citizens are treated like criminals. But as chaos engulfs the city, armed with her camera she witnesses a brutal murder by the secret police. In mortal danger and trapped as Poland is closed down, Joan becomes a hunted fugitive running for her life.
“I vividly remember my first encounter with the celebrated short novel ‘Professor Andrews Goes to Warsaw.’ This story felt intensely personal,” said Adamik.
“As a child, I lived in a satellite city of Warsaw. After emigrating to the West, I would dream of the concrete labyrinth of grey high rises, a weird no man’s land of never-ending, muddy construction sites, reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil.’ Now Professor Andrews has found herself in my labyrinth, a dreamlike universe where rules are unknown and absurdity reigns, on the border of the real and phantasmagorical world.”
The film is produced by Olga Chajdas, Stanislaw Dziedzic, Katarzyna Ozga, Nicolas Steil and Sam Taylor for production companies Wild Mouse Production, Film Produkcja, Iris Productions & Film and Music Entertainment Ltd and is co-produced by Douglas Cummins. Oscar nominee Agnieszka Holland will come on board as an executive producer alongside R. Paul Miller, James DeMasi, Jonny Boston, Archil Gelovani and Ursula Romero Gerberding for ISB. Tomasz Naumiuk (“Green Border”) is on board as director of photography.
“As a Cold War spy thriller, ‘Winter of the Crow’ feels truly original in that the lead protagonist is an everyday woman who is challenged to step up and make a difference in a completely unique situation,” said Gabrielle Stewart, CEO of HanWay Films. “Lesley Manville will be simply brilliant and we can’t wait to reveal footage of this incredible film.”
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