In today’s film news roundup, production starts on “Six Minutes to Midnight,” Artists for Change launches with “Lost Girls: Angie’s Story” and Sundance names five docs for its Edit and Story lab.
The film also stars Carla Juri, James D’Arcy, Jim Broadbent. Andy Goddard is directing from a script he wrote with Celyn Jones and Izzard. The story, set in 1939, follows a teacher assigned to a finishing school on the south coast of England who becomes alarmed that the students include the daughters of high-ranking Nazis.
“Six Minutes to Midnight” is financed by Motion Picture Capital, the Welsh Government, Ffilm Cymru Wales and West Madison Entertainment. Producers are Sean Marley, Andy Evans and Ade Shannon of Mad as Birds, Sarah Townsend producing for Ella Communications and Laure Vaysse for REP6.
Lionsgate International is selling worldwide rights, and Lionsgate U.K. will be releasing the film in the U.K. Izzard and Dench worked together on last year’s “Victoria & Abdul.”
Recently launched nonprofit Artists for Change, a socially minded community of filmmakers, has launched its first project with “Lost Girls: Angie’s Story.”
“Those of us who work in the film and TV industries carry an incredible responsibility in these troubled times,” said founder, producer and director Julia Verdin, who has assembled a group of industry professionals.
Verdin’s credits include “Stander,” starring Thomas Jane; “The Merchant of Venice,” starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes; and “2 Jacks,” starring Sienna Miller and Danny Houston.
“I think important issues with little attention can benefit from visual stories, both narrative and documentary, to send a message to the world,” said Gary Dartnall, a film industry executive and board member for Artists for Change. “Artists for Change plans to use the power of film to inspire change.”
“Lost Girls: Angie’s Story,” which is in pre-production, was inspired by Verdin’s time volunteering at a runaway children’s shelter in Los Angeles, where she met victims of sex trafficking. This project was supported by donations, crowdfunding, funders, grants, and volunteers.
“I had always thought that [sex trafficking] was something that happened in third world countries and so I began to do research,” Verdin said. “I quickly started to understand what a huge growing problem this is in the U.S. I decided I had to try and do something to help raise awareness.”
Artists for Change’s board of directors includes Dartnall, Sean Michael Acosta, Deborah Kolar, and Jason Piette, among others. Members of the advisory board include Jamie Harris, Julian Lennon, Camille Jumelle, and Ritesh Mehta.
The Sundance Institute has selected five projects for its Documentary Edit and Story Lab on July 6 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.
Advisors are Maya Hawke (“Box of Birds”), Sabine Hoffman (“Risk”), Jeff Malmberg (“Spettacolo”), Robb Moss (“Containment”), Jonathan Oppenheim (“Blowin’ Up”) and Toby Shimin (“This Is Home”). The contributing editors are Yuki Aizawa, Hannah Choe, Jaki Covington and Katherine Gorringe.
The projects include “After a Revolution,” in which a brother and sister struggle to rebuild their lives after fighting on opposite sides of the Libyan revolution; “Crip Camp,” a revolution in a ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers; “Forgiveness,” a modern American ghost story and a house that vanished; “The Hottest August,” a film about climate change, disguised as a portrait of collective anxiety; and “#Mickey,” in which a gender fluid Mickey has become a Youtube celebrity, but is fighting a conflict between her online persona and her real self.