Cannes: Alex Lawther’s Comedy-Drama ‘Freak Show’ Lands at IFC for U.S.

Freak Show
Courtesy of Berlin Film Festival

IFC has bought U.S. rights to Alex Lawther’s high school comedy-drama “Freak Show.”

The film, based on James St. James’ bestseller of the same name, follows Billy Bloom as a cross-dressing teenager and new student at an ultra-conservative high school. He’s determined not to change his outlandish outfits or behavior, taking a stand for outcasts and underdogs everywhere by running for homecoming queen and forging a friendship with the football team quarterback.

The cast includes Abigail Breslin, Laverne Cox, Larry Pine, Willa Fitzgerald, Bette Midler, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson, and Lorraine Toussaint. Breslin played the role of Billy’s rival, and Cox stars as a reporter. Pine portrays Billy’s father while Midler plays Billy’s mother.

Trudie Styler helmed in her feature directorial debut. Producers are Styler, Charlotte Ubben, and Maven Pictures’ Celine Rattray with Flower Films’ Chris Miller and Ember Truesdell along with Jeffrey Coulter and Bryan Rabin.

The book was published in 2007 and was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award in the LGBT children’s/young adult category and the Lambda Literary Award for gay men’s debut fiction. Lawther portrayed the young Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.”

The Works is handling foreign sales at Cannes. The film had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on Feb. 13.

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