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Goalpost Boards Ben Wheatley’s ‘Happy New Year, Colin Burstead’; BBC to Air in U.K.

Goalpost Film has boarded British director Ben Wheatley’s latest movie, “Happy New Year, Colin Burstead,” and is presenting it to buyers in Toronto. Separately, the BBC has picked it up for TV and on-demand in the U.K., and will air it this Christmas.

The film plays in competition at the BFI London Film Festival next month. It will then have a limited festival and theatrical run in the U.K. before airing on the BBC. It will be on the pubcaster’s catch-up and on-demand service, iPlayer, for 12 months after its TV bow. Wheatley is also writing a series for the BBC featuring the characters from the film.

The movie centers on Colin Burstead (Neil Maskell), who hires a lavish country manor in which his extended family can celebrate the New Year. Unfortunately for Colin, his position of power in the family is under serious threat from the arrival of his estranged brother David. Shot earlier this year, the film holds a mirror to the political and social situations of modern Britain and its place in the world.

The U.K. deal was put together by Wheatley and Andy Starke’s Rook Films, which produced the movie, and three BBC divisions: BBC Films, BBC Comedy and BBC Two.

“It was an amazing experience making the film with such a talented cast and crew and we are extremely pleased to be able to release the film in a way that makes sense of a very complicated releasing landscape. The BBC is the perfect home for Ben’s state-of-the-nation drama,” Starke said.

Rose Garnett, head of BBC Films, added: “When Andy and Ben showed ‘Happy New Year, Colin Burstead’ to me and [BBC Comedy controller] Shane Allen, we both fell for it. Funny, acute and very human, it’s a film about families at their worst and best, and a perfect bit of alternative Christmas television.”

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