Protagonist Pictures has closed a U.K. and Ireland distribution deal with BFI Distribution on the debut feature from Dionne Edwards, “Pretty Red Dress,” it was announced Tuesday by CEO Dave Bishop. Protagonist is handling worldwide sales on the critically lauded title and will continue sales at the ongoing American Film Market.
The film stars Natey Jones, singer Alexandra Burke, and new talent Temilola Olatunbosun in the story of a south London family and how their lives revolve around one red dress.
The film is produced by Georgia Goggin for the U.K.’s Teng Teng Films, with the support of the BFI, which awarded National Lottery funding, and BBC Film, in association with Magellanic Media Limited and Great Point Media. “Pretty Red Dress” was developed with BBC Film, the BFI and the Sundance Institute. Bennett McGhee, who produced 2020’s “Mogul Mowgli,” is executive producer, alongside Farhana Bhula for the BFI, and Eva Yates for BBC Film.
“Dionne is an exceptionally exciting filmmaker who has absolutely delivered on her much buzzed about potential in her stunning debut feature,” said Lina Marrone, acting head of sales at Protagonist Pictures. “Our friends at BFI Distribution are the perfect partners to bring this deeply personal yet widely resonant story to U.K. audiences.”
The deal was negotiated with the BFI’s acquisitions manager, Laura Dos Santos, with whom Protagonist also closed a U.K. deal on Mark Jenkin’s “Enys Men” earlier this year.
Julie Pearce, BFI head of distribution, said: “Supporting talented British filmmakers like Dionne on their first feature is one of the cornerstones of our acquisitions remit. We always work closely and collaboratively with our filmmakers and help guide them as they make their way into the film industry.”
Edwards was named a Screen Star of Tomorrow in 2019, having made shorts including 2016’s “We Love Moses,” and worked on TV projects including Netflix’s “Top Boy” and the BBC’s “Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle.”