NEW YORK, NY (FEBRUARY 9, 2019) – IFC Films announced today that it is acquiring U.S. rights to OPHELIA, the dynamic re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, featuring Daisy Ridley (STAR WARS trilogy) in the title role. Directed by Australian filmmaker Claire McCarthy (THE WAITING CITY) and adapted for the screen by Semi Chellas (MAD MEN) from Lisa Klein’s novel, OPHELIA costars George MacKay (CAPTAIN FANTASTIC) as Hamlet, alongside Academy-Award® nominees Naomi Watts (MULHOLLAND DRIVE, 21 GRAMS, BIRDMAN) as Gertrude and Clive Owen (CHILDREN OF MEN, CLOSER, THE KNICK) as Claudius. OPHELIA made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018. IFC Films is planning a theatrical release in 2019.
Set in medieval Denmark but spoken in a sharp, contemporary voice, OPHELIA boldly shifts the perspective of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, placing the drama’s complex young female character at center stage. A wild and motherless child, Ophelia is taken into Elsinore Castle under the wing of Queen Gertrude, becoming her most trusted lady-in-waiting. Soon Ophelia captures the attention of Gertrude’s son, the handsome Prince Hamlet, and as she learns the ways of power, an undeniable love between the couple blossoms in secret.
But when the murder of Hamlet’s father drives the Prince into a downward spiral of vengeance, Ophelia struggles to protect a dangerous secret. As war brews, lust and betrayal are tearing Elsinore Castle apart from within. Ophelia must decide between her true love and her own life.
OPHELIA was produced by Daniel Bobker (THE BROTHERS GRIMM, DREAM HOUSE), Ehren Kruger (THE BROTHERS GRIMM, DUMBO) and Sarah Curtis (MRS BROWN, HYSTERIA) and Paul Hanson (W., DISTRICT 9), while the film was executive produced by Covert Media’s Elissa Friedman (ROCK THE KASBAH), Sasha Shapiro (DIRTY GRANDPA) and Anton Lessine (FURY). OPHELIA’s team of skilled filmmakers include editor by Luke Dunkley (THE CROWN), Academy-Award® winning composer Steven Price (GRAVITY), cinematographer Denson Baker (PBS/Masterpiece Theatre’s VICTORIA), Academy-Award® nominated production designer Dave Warren (HUGO), costume designer Massimo Cantini Parrini (TALE OF TALES), and Academy-Award® winning hair and make-up designer Alessandro Bertolazzi (SUICIDE SQUAD).
The deal was negotiated by IFC Films’ Arianna Bocco, EVP of Acquisitions and Productions, Linda Benjamin at Covert Media, and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes.
Some of the company’s successes over the years have included BOYHOOD, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
ABOUT COVERT MEDIA
Launched in August 2015, Covert Media is an independent production, financing, and distribution company based in Beverly Hills, a partnership between global private equity fund Media Content Capital (MCC) and veteran film executive Paul Hanson. Covert Media focuses on high-quality, commercial content for worldwide audiences in the feature film, television, and digital marketplace by fostering meaningful relationships with filmmakers and creative artists.
Covert’s production slate, includes the star-studded Ophelia, is The Secret Movie starring Katie Holmes based on the best-selling book by Rhonda Byrne, Netflix’s Naked starring Marlon Wayans and Regina Hall, and the upcoming Resurface, which is being produced alongside Broken Road Productions in addition to titles produced by Covert’s recently launched television production group. Covert also services and sells the QED library and other third-party projects. Covert Media recently launched Lexica Films, a sales label for premium foreign language features.