Lena Headey and Iain Glen immigration drama “The Flood” has been picked up by Curzon Artificial Eye for the U.K. Having battled for the Iron Throne in the HBO juggernaut series, the pair star in the timely independent movie about a hot-button issue. After a June 17 event screening of the film, Curzon will release the film both in its British cinemas and on its on-demand service June 21.
Headey plays Wendy, a British immigration officer deciding the fate of an asylum seeker, Haile. Immigration remains a headline issue in the U.K. and continental Europe. Headey previously told Variety that she hoped the picture would “grow a bit more compassion, understanding, curiosity or bravery.”
Glen plays Wendy’s boss in the film. The “Game of Thrones” associations continue with the casting of Ivanno Jeremiah, who is attached to an upcoming prequel to the HBO fantasy drama, as Haile. The film is set in France and the U.K. and shows Wendy’s interrogation of Haile as she attempts to uncover whether he is telling the truth about his reasons for coming to the U.K.
The filmmakers based the script on real-life stories. Director Anthony Woodley, writer Helen Kingston, and producer Luke Healy all volunteered in the Calais Jungle, the makeshift migrant camp on the French side of the English Channel. The film team also interviewed government officials.
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Would-be investors in the film were originally concerned that people would not want to watch an immigration drama, but Headey and Glenn’s attachment ensured that it got made, said Healy, who produces through his Megatopia Films shingle.
“We set out to make a feature film because we wanted to engage audiences who would not necessarily watch a documentary and those who are tired of hearing about the refugee crisis,” he told Variety. “We wanted the film to speak to both sides of this debate and to encourage dialogue. The Curzon team recognized what we were trying to do with the film, and I give them credit for taking a risk on this polemic and divisive subject.”
Healy acknowledged that initial interest would be piqued by fans wanting to see what the “Game of Thrones” actors are doing next, but “that doesn’t matter as long as they connect with the film, the characters, and the story.”
The film’s week of release in the U.K. will coincide with World Refugee Day on June 20. The Film Sales Company has international rights.