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O’Donnell books jaunt to Miramax ‘Heartlands’

Director to take new low-budget indie under wing

LONDON – “East Is East” helmer Damien O’Donnell is set to direct “Heartlands,” a romantic road movie set in northern England, for Miramax Films.

Michael Sheen (“Four Feathers”) will star as a lovesick hubby trying to win back his wife, who left him for another man.

Paul Fraser, best known as the writing partner of director Shane Meadows, penned the script. Shooting starts in September, with Miramax fully financing the $3.5 million pic.

Richard Jobson’s Vestry Films is co-producing with Andrew Eaton and Michael Winterbottom’s Revolution Films. Gina Carter is producing for Revolution.

Miramax U.K. production chief Allon Reich is overseeing the project. Pic is the first low-budget Brit indie that Miramax has fully financed since it disbanded its ill-fated HAL Films joint venture early in 2000.

Film will be O’Donnell’s first feature since his debut two years ago with “East Is East.” That multicultural comedy was a box office smash in Blighty and was released Stateside by Miramax.

The Dublin-born helmer had been attached to “Dirty Pretty Things,” a thriller set among London’s immigrant underclass, but he left the project several months ago. That pic is now being developed with Stephen Frears.

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