London-based production, finance and sales company Film Constellation has come on board Cathy Brady’s debut feature “Wildfire,” which world premieres in the Discovery section at next month’s Toronto Film Festival.
The film centers on sisters Lauren and Kelly, an inseparable pair brought up in a small town by the Irish border. Their lives fell apart with the mysterious death of their mother. Left to pick up the pieces, Lauren is confronted with their dark past when Kelly returns home having been missing for a year. “An intense sisterhood reignited, Kelly’s desire to unearth their history is not welcomed by all, and the town is rife with rumors and malice that threaten to overwhelm them,” according to a statement from Film Constellation.
The film’s press and industry screening at Toronto is on Sept. 14 at 11 A.M. via digital access. The festival world premiere is at 9 P.M. on Sept. 16, at West Island Open Air Cinema, Ontario Place. Toronto returns as a slimline hybrid event this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically it selects more than 300 titles, but this year the program of new films has been cut to just 50.
“Wildfire,” written and directed by Brady, stars Nora-Jane Noone (“Brooklyn,” “Doomsday”), Nika McGuigan (“Philomena”), Kate Dickie (“The Witch,” “Prometheus”) and Martin McCann (“The Survivalist,” “’71”).
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Tempesta Films’ Carlo Cresto-Dina (“Happy as Lazzaro”) is producing with Cowboy Films’ Charles Steel (“The Last King of Scotland,” “Top Boy”), and Samson Films’ David Collins (“Once,” “Float Like a Butterfly”). The film is co-financed by the BFI, Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, Film4, Great Point Media and the Wellcome Trust.
Fabien Westerhoff, CEO of Film Constellation, described “Wildfire” as a “powerful film on the resilience of sisterhood, and the difficulties of moving forward in a place that still hasn’t fully coped with its own troubled recent history.”
Cresto-Dina, Steel and Collins said: “The magic of ‘WiIdfire’ is all in Cathy’s talent to lead and defend our original idea of a film made through a process of researching, workshopping and constant creative growth with two amazing leads Nika McGuigan and Nora-Jane Noone.”
Film Constellation’s slate includes Sundance horror film “Relic” by Natalie Erika James, female surf rebellion doc “Girls Can’t Surf” from Christopher Nelius, Bowie origin-story “Stardust” from BAFTA-nominated Salon Pictures, Berlinale Encounters title “Funny Face,” written and directed by Tim Sutton, Sundance competition films “The Evening Hour,” directed by Braden King, and “Farewell Amor,” written and directed by Ekwa Msangi.
Tempesta Films produced all of Alice Rohrwacher’s films, including “The Wonders,” the Grand Jury Prize winner at Cannes in 2014, and “Happy as Lazzaro,” a Palme d’Or contender and winner of best screenplay at Cannes in 2018. Its productions also include Leonardo Di Costanzo’s “L’intervallo” (Venice, 2012) and “The Intruder” (Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes, 2017).
Cowboy Films, run by Steel alongside Alasdair Flind, has credits that include “The Last King of Scotland,” which won the Academy Award for Forest Whitaker as best actor along with the BAFTA for best British film, the adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s novel “How I Live Now,” starring Saoirse Ronan, “Black Sea,” a submarine thriller staring Jude Law, and “Bill,” a family comedy about William Shakespeare.
Samson Films’ credits include Carmel Winter’s “Float Like a Butterfly” (2018), which received the FIPRESCI Discovery Prize at the Toronto Film Festival, Viko Nikci’s “Cellar Door” (2018), which won best Irish first feature at the Galway Film Fleadh, and Elfar Adalstein’s “End of Sentence” (2019), which had its world premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
Its latest films are “Rose Plays Julie” (2019) by writers/directors Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, which world premiered in competition at the 2019 BFI London Film Festival, and “The Castle,” a co-production with Artbox, written and directed by Lina Luzyte, which premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2020.