The 2014 Stratford Festival productions of Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” “King John,” and “Antony and Cleopatra” are being filmed in Stratford, Ont., early this fall for features that will be distributed in Canadian, U.S. and international cinemas in the first half of 2015.
The pics mark the start of an ambitious project, first announced in March, to film new Stratford productions (three per year) of all of Shakespeare’s plays. On Tuesday, the festival announced details of the films, release dates, and its distribution partners.
Cineplex Entertainment’s Front Row Centre Events will distribute the Stratford films to Canuck big screens, and live cinema event powerhouse BY Experience (Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD, National Theatre Live) will distribute to U.S. and the rest of the world. Theatrical release will be followed by a broadcast window on Canuck pubcaster CBC, then digital and on-demand.
The renowned, 60-year-old theater festival—where the likes of Canadian thesps Christopher Plummer, William Shatner and Lorne Greene got their start—will also create a suite of related digital products, including apps, games, and audio books.
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“We’re forging new territory here in Canada with the filming of a series of our productions and expanding the festival’s digital footprint,” said Stratford executive director Anita Gaffney. “The Stratford Festival canon collection will extend the festival’s reach and heighten its profile around the world.”
“King Lear,” helmed by Stratford artistic director Antoni Cimolino starring Colm Feore (“The Borgias”), lenses in October and hits theater
s Feb. 2015.
“King John,” directed by Tim Carroll and starring Tom McCamus and Seana McKenna, lenses this month for release in April 2015.
“Antony and Cleopatra,” directed by Gary Griffin and starring Geraint Wyn Davies and Yanna McIntosh, lenses this month for release in May 2015.
The films will be produced by Toronto-based Melbar Entertainment Group, with Barry Avrich serving as exec producer.
The Stratford Festival’s 2014 theater season continues until October 25, 2014.