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Cannes: Morgan Matthews to Direct BBC Films’ Drama ‘Gypsy Boy’

Ken Loach’s 'I, Daniel Blake' was a huge hit with the audience at its Cannes premiere Friday

Morgan Matthews is set to direct “Gypsy Boy,” adapted by James Graham from the bestselling memoir by Mikey Walsh. BBC Films is backing the project.

Walsh has been born into a family famed for its boxing prowess. When he realizes he is gay, he is faced with an impossible choice: stay with a community that cannot accept him for who he is, or walk away from the only world he knows.

BBC Films also announced that it is joining forces with producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley of Number 9 Films to make “On Chesil Beach.” Ian McEwan’s adaptation of his heartbreaking novel will mark the directorial debut of Dominic Cooke and will star Oscar-nominated Saoirse Ronan.

BBC Films is also on board Andy Serkis’ inspirational “Breathe,” written by William Nicholson, and starring Andrew Garfield and Clare Foy. Pre-production is now underway on the project. Jonathan Cavendish produces the powerful story of his own father Robin’s remarkable life. Paralyzed by polio in his twenties, Robin and his devoted wife Diana refuse to be imprisoned by his disability, and travel the world transforming the lives of others with “their humor, courage and lust for life.”

BBC Films also backed Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake,” which premiered in Cannes competition Friday and received a 15-minute standing ovation. Written by Paul Laverty, starring Dave Johns and Hayley Squires, produced by Rebecca O’Brien, the film explores the life of Daniel Blake, who has worked as a carpenter most of his life in the North East of England and needs help from the State for the first time.

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