Channing, Campbell pic begins lensing

MONTREAL — Stockard Channing and Christian Campbell topline “The Piano Man’s Daughter,” which Sullivan Entertainment has begun lensing in Toronto and surrounding areas.

Sullivan prexy Kevin Sullivan and Whoopi Goldberg are producing the pic, adapted from the novel by Canuck author Timothy Findley.

Sullivan Entertainment Intl. president Trudy Grant serves as executive producer on the pic, which is being sold internationally by Sullivan.

Writer-director Kevin Sullivan has produced a wide variety of Canuck TV series and telepics, notably “Road to Avonlea,” “Wind at My Back” and “Anne of Green Gables.” “Piano Man’s” marks his feature-film directorial debut.

Filming continues until Oct. 22, with delivery expected next spring.

Goldberg optioned pic rights to the novel in 1995 after reading it while filming Norman Jewison’s “Bogus” in Toronto. Sullivan is writing and directing the pic.

Channing plays Lily Kilworth, one of the key members of the Irish immigrant Kilworth family, which is at the center of this epic tale.

Crewson onboard

Campbell (currently onscreen in “Trick”) portrays Charlie Kilworth, a 25-year-old trying to come to terms with the promiscuous, visionary nature of his epileptic mother Lily. Pic also features Wendy Crewson (“Air Force One”) as Lily’s mother Ede. Cast is rounded out by Canuck thesps Marnie McPhail (“Star Trek: First Contact”) as the young Lily, veteran legit actor R. H. Thomson and Dixie Seatle.

Inspired by Findley’s own family history, the pic tells the tale of an Irish immigrant family struggling to make a living in rural Ontario, spanning three generations of the Kilworth family, from 1889 to 1939.

‘Compelling story’

“Embarking on this complex film is an ambitious project for us,” Sullivan said. “‘The Piano Man’s Daughter’ is a very powerful work by one of Canada’s greatest novelists and I am enormously excited to be interpreting this compelling story with such a talented cast.”

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