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Production Commences on Black Comedy ‘Ilkley’

Screen Yorkshire is pleased to announce its investment in ILKLEY following Independent’s casting announcement at this week’s European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin. Roger Allam (THE LADY IN THE VAN, IN THE THICK OF IT, MR HOLMES) Derek Jacobi (TOLKIEN, CINDERELLA, THE KING’S SPEECH) and Anna Maxwell-Martin (PHILOMENA, BECOMING JANE) to star in Harry Michell’s comedy ILKLEY, alongside Harry Melling (THE LOST CITY OF Z, HARRY POTTER SERIES). Vinette Robinson and Flora Spencer-Longhurst also star.

Anna Maxwell Martin (pictured above in ‘Death Comes To Pemberley’) will star in ILKLEY

BIFA nominated and Screen Star of Tomorrow Harry Michell (CHUBBY FUNNY) directs the black comedy co-written with Jamie Fraser. He reunites with CHUBBY FUNNY producer Helen Simmons. Executive Producers include Independent’s Andrew Orr, Screen Yorkshire’s Hugo Heppell, Ivy Gate Films’ Roger Le Tissier and Frances Le Tissier, Featuristic Films’ Julien Loeffler and Fabrice Smadja, Kevin Loader (DEATH OF STALIN), Andy Brunskill (LILTING) and Farah Abushwesha (IRREPLACEABLE YOU). The film will be a Guinea Pig Production (CHUBBY FUNNY) and Aimimage Production (ILL MANORS) in association with Independent (WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, OUT OF BLUE) and Featuristic Films (THE SONATA, THE ROYAL EXCHANGE).

ILKLEY will be Harry Michell’s follow up to debut feature CHUBBY FUNNY, which received critical acclaim after a successful run on the festival circuit and reaching the long-list in four BIFA categories with Harry being nominated for Most Promising Newcomer.

Financed by Screen Yorkshire, Ivy Gate Films, and Umedia.

Principal photography begins later this month in Yorkshire.

International sales are handled by Independent who will take the project to buyers at the EFM 2018.

Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments at Screen Yorkshire says:

‘’We’re delighted but not surprised that Harry Michell has managed to secure such a brilliant lead cast for ILKLEY.  The combination of his highly entertaining script and of course, the location, which is so central to the story, made it an irresistible project for Screen Yorkshire and we’re excited to help bring it to the big screen.’’

Producer, Helen Simmons, says:

“I’m thrilled to be collaborating with Harry again on our second feature. We have managed to attach a fantastically talented cast and with the unending support of our financiers and Independent, we look forward to making a hilariously funny and brilliantly original film.”   

Head of Sales at Independent, Sarah Lebutsch says:

‘’With CHUBBY FUNNY, Harry has shown an enormous natural talent for writing and directing comedy, and we are delighted to be able to work with him on his second feature. The filmmaking team have gathered an incredible cast for ILKLEY, we can’t wait to see Harry’s hilarious script on screen.’’

Roger Allam and Derek Jacobi are represented by Independent Talent. Anna Maxwell-Martin is represented by Troika. Harry Melling and Vinette Robinson are represented by Curtis Brown. Flora Spencer-Longhurst is represented by United Agents.


For two weeks a year Ilkley, an idyllic Yorkshire spa town, plays host to thousands of avid book-lovers as well as some of the most celebrated names in academia for its annual Literary Festival. On its final weekend, however, this idyll will welcome the world’s most controversial secularist, and two hapless evangelicals tasked with killing him.

In the news….

Screendaily: Roger Allam, Derek Jacobi, Anna Maxwell-Martin to star in black comedy ‘Ilkley’ (exclusive)

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Hilariously Funny & Brilliantly Original Film to be Shot in Bradford District

Ilkley Gazette: Ilkley Literature Festival Inspires Film