“Dream Horse,” starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis, has been sold around the world by Cornerstone Films, including a multi-territory deal with Sony. The story of a winning racehorse from BAFTA-winning director Euros Lyn also stars Owen Teale, Joanna Page and Karl Johnson.
Cornerstone has closed deals with Welt Kino (Germany), Impuls (Switzerland), Hakuhodo DY Music & Pictures Inc. (Japan) and Terry Steiner (Airlines). As previously announced, Bleecker Street and Topic Studios have jointly acquired the U.S. rights, and Warner Bros. is distributing in the U.K. The Sony deal – inked with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions – includes rest of world, excluding Canada, Italy and France.
In the film, Jan Vokes (Collette), a cleaner and bartender, recruits her initially reluctant husband, Brian (Teale), and local accountant Howard Davies (Lewis) to help her bring together a syndicate of local people to breed a foal, which they name Dream Alliance. On the racetrack, he proves himself to be more than a match for the multi-million-pound racehorses he comes up against. But more than this, Dream begins to alter the lives of everyone in the syndicate, not least Jan’s.
“Dream Horse” is described by Cornerstone as “a classic story of triumph against adversity, and a tale of how a woman strives to make her dream a reality in a place where hope is thin on the ground.”
The RAW production was written by BAFTA-winning writer Neil McKay and developed with Film4. It is produced by Katherine Butler and Tracy O’Riordan. Executive producers are Piers Vellacott and Joely Fether for RAW, Daniel Battsek and Ollie Madden for Film4, Peter Touche and Stephen Dailey for Ingenious Media, and Pauline Burt for Ffilm Cymru Wales.
Film4, Ingenious Media, Ffilm Cymru Wales provided funding for the film, which is also supported by the Welsh government. They are joined by Warner Bros. U.K. Cornerstone handled international sales, and is selling Canada, Italy and France. The film is in post-production in Wales.
The true story behind the film was previously told in the documentary “Dark Horse,” produced by Judith Dawson and directed by Louise Osmond, also backed by Film4 and Ffilm Cymru. It won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance before being released by Picturehouse in the U.K. and Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S.
Pictured: Brian (Owen Teale), Nerys (Di Botcher), Jan (Toni Collette), Howard (Damian Lewis) and Maldwyn (Anthony O’Donnell) in Euros Lyn’s “Dream Horse”