mick southworth

Company to produce soccer hooligan film 'Running with the Firm'

LONDON — Mick Southworth and Martin McCabe have relaunched the Feature Film Company, which was formerly a distributor in the U.K., as a production, finance and consultancy company.

Omeira Partners, the company’s funding partner, is providing a minimum £10 million ($16.7 million) of production investment in the first year. The Feature Film Company will initially produce up to four low to medium budget, commercially oriented genre movies a year for theatrical release in the U.K. and international sales worldwide.

It is kick-starting its production slate with a movie adaptation of James Bannon’s best-seller “Running with the Firm.” The tome is Bannon’s memoir about his time as an undercover cop in the 1980s, which saw him infiltrate some of English soccer’s toughest hooligan gangs.

Published in August 2013, the book became a Sunday Times best-seller within a week, followed by an Amazon top 10 best-seller and has subsequently been published in worldwide territories including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Holland, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Production of “Running With the Firm” from a screenplay by the author is due to commence in the spring on locations in the U.K. and Germany. Producers are Southworth, McCabe, David Shear and Bannon. Dan Hubbard is casting.

Southworth commented: “’Running with the Firm’ perfectly encapsulates the commercial ethos of the Feature Film Company as it comes complete with a commercial pedigree way above other normal titles in this genre.

“We have put together a fast, smart and exceptional slate of really well-crafted, high quality, commercial products in conjunction with powerful industry partners. This is a really exciting and commercially focused production play. Fit for purpose for new market realities.”

FFC has two films in post-production. “The Cuban Way” is a vibrant and visually powerful feature documentary on the lifelong importance that music and dance plays to the people of Cuba. Directed by Eirene Houston (“Day of the Flowers”) the pic is due to premiere at Cannes.

“Untitled Mandela Project” is a documentary on the life of Nelson Mandela using exclusive first person testimony from Mandela and his family, which is also being readied in time for Cannes.

FFC’s next feature co-production, “Money and Grime,” starts filming in May in London under first-time feature helmer Sheridan Demyers. It is described as a “no-holds barred urban drama centered round the British grime urban music scene.” It follows three boys trying to rise to the top as musicians against a background of criminality and double dealing.

The producers are working with Universal Music Group to provide a showcase for rising and established acts from the U.K. grime and urban dance scene, including Angel, Scorcher and Katy B among others.

Other titles on the slate include the supernatural thriller “Of the Dead,” a mid-20th century re-versioning of Henry James classic gothic horror “Turn of the Screw,” set to film in Canada this autumn.

Following filming “Of the Dead,” production is due to begin on FFC’s largest project to date, the historical drama “Rebellion,” an epic retelling of the legend of Owen Glendower, the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales, who instigated a fierce and long-running revolt against the English rule of Wales. It is written and produced by British producer Selwyn Roberts.

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