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Rebel Wilson, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s ‘The Almond and the Seahorse’ Snapped Up for U.K. by Picnik Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

Picnik Entertainment has acquired U.K. distribution rights for “The Almond and the Seahorse,” starring Rebel Wilson and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Based on Kaite O’Reilly’s play, film’s cast also includes Trine Dyrholm (“In a Better World”), Celyn Jones (“Swede Caroline”), Meera Syal (“Yesterday”), Ruth Madeley (“Years and Years”) and Alice Lowe (“Hot Fuzz”).

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The Almond and the Seahorse are the nicknames given to the parts of human brains that lay down new memories and hold on to the old ones. After a TBI (a traumatic brain injury) these parts can change and become new pathways. The film focuses on characters without brain damage, but have to carry the heart damage. Sarah (Wilson) is an archaeologist who loves her husband Joe (Jones) but after a TBI their love is trapped in the past. Toni (Gainsbourg) is an architect and loves her partner Gwen (Dyrholm) but after a TBI they have been imprisoned in a 15-year loop.

The film is written by Jones and O’Reilly, with Jones and Tom Stern (cinematographer on “Mystic River,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “American Sniper”) serving as first time co-directors on the project. It is produced by Mad as Birds Films (“Six Minutes to Midnight”). Picnik, founded by Nicola Pearcey who was previously president, U.K. and Ireland at Lionsgate, placed the closing finance on the production and serves as executive producer as well as distributor of the film. Mad As Birds is Picnik’s lead production company partner in the U.K. and the team work jointly across Mad As Bird’s entire slate.

“The Almond and the Seahorse” is produced by Andy Evans, Alex Ashworth and Sean Marley for Mad As Birds, and Alison Brister for REP Productions SF. The film was financed by REP Productions SF alongside Head Gear, Picnik Entertainment, Creative Wales and Ffilm Cymru Wales, with funding from the National Lottery. Executive producers include Laure Vaysse for Harcourt Capital, Bizzy Day and Pauline Burt for Ffilm Cymru Wales, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross for Head Gear, Pearcey for Picnik Entertainment, with Stephen Kelliher and Yana Georgieva for Bankside Films and Eddie Izzard.

The film won the jury prize at the Dinard British Film Festival. A U.K. theatrical release has been set for May 10.

Wilson said: “I’m so proud of this great gem of a film that dives into the important subject of traumatic brain injury. It’s such a departure for me artistically after having done mainly commercial comedy films in America, it was a challenge to do something so very different, but I just adored working with Cel and Charlotte, Trine and Meera on this beautiful piece. I can’t wait for U.K. audiences to see it in May.”

Pearcey added: “We’ve all seen Rebel in those much loved blockbuster comedic roles, but this film demonstrates her dramatic ability on another level and we cannot wait for our audiences to see her alongside the amazing talents of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Trine Dyrholm, Meera Syal and of course the brilliant writer and co-director and co-star Celyn Jones, in U.K. cinemas this May.”

Jones said: “It’s wonderful and very apt that Picnik Entertainment are bringing the film to U.K. audiences. The performances from each of the leading ladies are astounding, a masterclass and it was a pleasure to be in their orbit. It’s a universal story about love , survival and the powerful fragility of memory. We wanted to shine a bright light on a poignant subject that affects many people caught in the emotional debris of TBI, caught between caring for and being cared for in a world that can leave you behind. I hope our film helps to heal as much as it entertains and don’t worry it’s as funny as it is moving.”

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