By Andreas Wiseman
EXCLUSIVE: Kaleidoscope Entertainment has acquired UK and Irish distribution rights (excluding ships and airlines) to Waiting for Anya, Ben Cookson’s World War II drama based on War Horse author Michael Morpurgo’s novel of the same name.
Stranger Things‘ Noah Schnapp, Oscar winner Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family), Jean Reno (Leon) and Thomas Kretschmann (The Pianist) star in the feature about a 13 year-old shepherd (Schnapp), his grandfather (Reno) and a widow (Huston), who help smuggle Jewish children across the border from southern France into Spain during World War II.
Kaleidoscope says it is planning a wide theatrical release in February 2020, followed by digital and home entertainment releases in the summer. Schnapp is set to attend the film’s London premiere.
The UK deal was brokered by Victor Glynn and Geoff Iles. As we revealed last month, Vertical Entertainment has boarded North American rights from sales firm 13 Films.
Screenplay comes from Toby Torlesse and Cookson. Pic was was produced by Phin Glynn and Alan Latham. Production companies include Goldfinch, Fourth Culture Films, Bad Penny Productions, 13 Films and Artemis Productions.
Former Children’s Laureate Morpurgo said, “I saw my story of Waiting for Anya in my mind’s eye as I was writing it. Now all these years later, I have seen it on the screen. What a film they have made! Astonishingly beautiful and moving, it is a tribute to all those who have made it, who have given my story new life, and to Kaleidoscope who will be bringing it to so many.”
Producer Alan Latham commented, “The film appeals to a wide audience both young adults families and the older generation given the historical and educational importance of the film. I am delighted that Kaleidoscope Entertainment has the same vision for the film.”