Clio Barnard’s ‘Dark River’ debuted as a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017 in the Platform section on Sunday 10th September. The highly anticipated drama filmed in the region in 2016 with investment from Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund.
Written and directed by Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant), this moving tale of family secrets stars Ruth Wilson (“The Affair”, Saving Mr Banks), Mark Stanley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, “Game of Thrones”) and Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, GoldenEye). ‘Dark River’ is produced by Clio Barnard’s long-term producer Tracy O’Riordan (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant) of Moonspun Films with Left Bank Pictures’ Lila Rawlings, Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie executive producing. Further executive producers are Lizzie Francke, Rose Garnett, Polly Stokes, Hugo Heppell and Meroë Candy.
Following the death of her father, Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns to her hometown for the first time in 15 years, to claim the family farm she believes is rightfully hers. Once there she is confronted by a brother (Mark Stanley) whom she barely recognizes. Worn down by years of trying to keep the farm going, he is naturally hostile to her arrival and her claim. Their dispute unearths traumatic memories for Alice, ones which have remained dormant for years. Will brother and sister be able to move on or will the events of the past forever shape their future?
Protagonist Pictures has sold UK rights to Arrow Films. The UK deal was negotiated by George Hamilton, Protagonist’s Manager of International Sales, and Arrow Films’ Acquisitions Director Tom Stewart. Protagonist Pictures is handling worldwide and domestic rights to the film.
“Clio Barnard has created a powerful and emotional drama that explores the fragility of familial relationships,” said Hamilton. “It is sure to resonate with audiences, and we are thrilled to partner with Arrow for the home territory release.”
Tom Stewart added: ”We are incredibly proud to be releasing Clio Barnard’s third feature which we feel is a truly outstanding piece of British film-making. 0n a separate note, we’re completely thrilled to be working with everyone at Protagonist Pictures on this incredibly exciting release”.
Barnard has established herself as one of the UK’s most distinctive cinematic voices following rave reviews and awards for her feature-length debut The Arbor, a documentary about the late Bradford poet Andrea Dunbar, as well as her sophomore feature The Selfish Giant. The latter film followed two 13-year-old working-class friends in Bradford seeking fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal. The film was a critical darling on its release, winning the best British film of the year at the London Critics Circle Film Awards and a number of other festival awards. IFC Films/Sundance Selects released it in the United States.
Dark River is a Moonspun Films/Left Bank Pictures production, backed by Film4, BFI (with National Lottery funding) and Screen Yorkshire. It was developed by Film4, the BFI and the Wellcome Trust.
CINE VUE: Toronto 2017: Dark River Review
WOMEN AND HOLLYWOOD: TIFF 2017 Women Directors: Meet Clio Barnard — “Dark River”
SCREENDAILY: ‘Dark River’: Toronto Review
SCREENDAILY: Clio Barnard talks Toronto premiere ‘Dark River’
VARIETY: Toronto Film Review: ‘Dark River’
For the full line up for TIFF 17 go to: https://www.tiff.net/tiff/films.html