Greene gets rights to Potter pic

Co. to exec produce, get distrib'n for adulterous drama

NEW YORK — GreeneStreet Films has acquired worldwide rights to Sally Potter’s fourth feature “Yes,” now in production with Joan Allen and Simon Abkarian, which the company will be representing to international buyers next month at Cannes.

Allen stars as a married American scientist having an affair with a Lebanese cook living in exile in London, played by Abkarian (“The Truth About Charlie,” “Ararat”). Sam Neill and Shirley Henderson (“Bridget Jones’s Diary”) also star.

The drama started shooting April 14 in London and Belfast.

Christopher Sheppard, who produced Potter’s “Orlando,” “The Tango Lesson” and “The Man Who Cried,” will produce for Adventure Pictures, with Andrew Fierberg (“Secretary”).

GreeneStreet will come aboard as executive producer, as well as being responsible for arranging both domestic and international distribution.

“Years ago I stumbled upon the storyboards of ‘Orlando’ before it was shot and I was so struck by the specificity of Sally Potter’s work that I remember making a mental note that there was going to come a time when she had another project I could get involved with, and this is it,” GreeneStreet co-founder and president John Penotti told Daily Variety.

” ‘Yes’ is one of the most original scripts I have read in a long time,” he added. “It is a thoroughly compelling story, with a gifted cast.”

Pic is being partially financed by the U.K. Film Council’s New Cinema Fund, which has supported such projects as Peter Mullan’s “The Magdalene Sisters,” Paul Greengrass’ “Bloody Sunday” and John Crowley’s upcoming “Intermission.”

“Good on GreeneStreet and the Film Council for supporting a film that takes risks,” Potter said. “In today’s climate, commitment like theirs makes a real difference to what filmmakers can achieve.”

Previous films financed and produced by GreeneStreet include “In the Bedroom,” “Pinero” and “Swimfan.” The company is readying Boaz Yakin’s “Uptown Girls” (formerly “Molly Gunn”) with Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning for release via MGM in August.

GreeneStreet’s head of business affairs and strategic development Vicki Cherkas and head of production finance Cedric Jeanson negotiated the deal on behalf of the company.

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