HAL hails tyro helmer Cousins for comedy

Owen, Thomas to produce

LONDON — HAL Films, a London-based production venture backed by Miramax, is set to finance a Welsh comedy thriller to be directed by newcomer Philippa Cousins.

Lili Taylor is being lined up to star in the $5.6 million pic, currently untitled. Written by Belinda Bauer, film’s about a beauty queen who reappears in a south Wales village 13 years after a man was convicted of her murder.

Om Puri and Ioan Gruffudd also are attached to star.

The film is being co-produced by Alison Owen (“Elizabeth”) and Neris Thomas (“Cousin Bette”) through their company Ruby Films.

Cousins has directed TV docs and shorts, including “The Deadness of Dad,” which starred Rhys Ifans.

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