Sister Pictures Options Adam Kay's Book 'This is Going to Hurt'

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Sister Pictures have acquired the television rights for Adam Kay’s debut book This is Going To Hurt.

The Picador title, published 7th September 2017, was signed by Naomi De Pear of Sister Pictures, from Cathryn Summerhayes, Amanda Davis, Jessica Cooper and Kat Buckle at Curtis Brown after a 12-way auction. The series will be written by Adam Kay and developed by Katie Carpenter and Naomi de Pear, who will Executive Produce the series.

This is Going To Hurt is the diary of writer and comedian Adam Kay during the six years he spent as a junior doctor. It is a blistering first-hand account of life working for the NHS in all its joy, pain, sacrifice, hilarity, horror and maddening bureaucracy.  Kay, who worked as a junior doctor between 2004 and 2010, had previously turned his experiences into a critically acclaimed sell-out show which ran at the Edinburgh Festival and then at Soho Theatre. Best known for his work fronting musical comedy act The Amateur Transplants, Kay is now an award-winning writer for stage, screen and radio and currently has projects in development for Disney, Working Title Films and Sacha Baron Cohen’s Four By Two Films.

Adam Kay says: “I couldn't be happier about working with Sister to bring This is Going to Hurt to television. Jane, Naomi, Katie and the whole team are fantastic, with a brilliant vision for the show, and a hard and rightly won reputation for producing world-class television. I'll try my best not to ruin their reputation.”

Naomi De Pear says: “Adam’s book is a visceral and hilarious reminder of how brave, ridiculous, beautiful and stupid human beings and the systems they create are. I snorted with laughter on every page and was left completely heartbroken. We’re honoured to be able to work with Adam on adapting his vision for television. The NHS is a magnificent beast and it's imperative that this story be told now.”

FIVE-PART MINISERIES CHERNOBYL, PRODUCED BY SISTER PICTURES AND THE MIGHTY MINT AS AN HBO/SKY TELEVISION CO-PRODUCTION, TO BEGIN FILMING NEXT YEAR

The five-part HBO miniseries CHERNOBYL starring Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men), to be produced by Sister Pictures and The Mighty Mint as an HBO/Sky Television co-production, will begin filming next year, it was announced today by Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and CINEMAX Programming.

CHERNOBYL dramatizes the true story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and tells of the brave men and women who sacrificed to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.

Written by Craig Mazin (“The Huntsman: Winter’s War”) and directed by Johan Renck (“Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead”), CHERNOBYL will be executive produced by Jane Featherstone (“Broadchurch,” “The Hour”, "Humans"),  Carolyn Strauss (two-time Emmy® winner and PGA winner for HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; HBO’s “Treme”),  and Craig Mazin, and co-executive produced by Chris Fry (“Humans”) and Johan Renck.

CHERNOBYL is a tale of lies and cowardice, of courage and conviction, of human failure and human nobility. The miniseries focuses on the heartbreaking scope of the nuclear plant disaster that occurred in Ukraine in April 1986, revealing how and why it happened, and telling the shocking, remarkable stories of the heroes who fought and fell.

Filming will begin in Lithuania in spring 2018.

BBC ONE AND SUNDANCE TV ANNOUNCE KEY CASTING FOR NEW SIX-PART DRAMA “THE SPLIT”

Production starts in the UK this month on the original series helmed by award-winning creative team including writer Abi Morgan, producer Jane Featherstone and director Jessica Hobbs

London, New York – Wednesday 28th June 2017: All-new drama The Split begins production in the UK next week with Nicola Walker (RiverLast Tango in Halifax) leading the acclaimed ensemble cast alongside Meera Syal (Goodness Gracious Me), Stephen Mangan (Episodes), Fiona Button (Lip Service), Deborah Findlay (Leaving), Annabel Scholey (Being Human), Barry Atsma (Hector and the Search for Happiness) and Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks).  The original drama, with a female-led cast and crew, is from BAFTA and Primetime Emmy award-winning writer Abi Morgan (River, Suffragette, The Iron Lady, The Hour) and BAFTA-winning Executive Producer Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Humans, River). The six-part series is the first new original production from Featherstone’s indie Sister Pictures for BBC One, co-produced with SundanceTV, and is directed by Jessica Hobbs (Broadchurch, Apple Tree Yard, The Slap) and produced by Lucy Dyke (Black Mirror, Ripper Street). It shoots on location in London. 

The Split is an authentic, layered and witty exploration of modern marriage and the legacy of divorce through the lens of the Defoe’s – a family of female lawyers at the heart of London’s fast-paced and emotionally-charged divorce circuit.

Esteemed divorce lawyer Hannah (Nicola Walker) quits the family firm when her mother Ruth (Deborah Findlay), formidable personally and professionally, refuses her promotion. Landing at a rival firm alongside old flame Christie (Barry Atsma), Hannah navigates scandalous affairs, big-figure settlements and fraught relationship battles – coming head-to-head with Ruth and impulsive sister Nina (Annabel Scholey) in the bitter divorce of Goldie (Meera Syal) and multi-millionaire husband Davey (Stephen Tompkinson).  Meanwhile, the marriage of younger sister Rose (Fiona Button) looms on the horizon.  

When their estranged father returns after 30 years the sisters are forced to confront their past.  Facing the reality of her dad’s abandonment, and reconnecting with ‘the one who got away’ Christie, Hannah begins to question her relationships with the men in her life – including her seemingly contented marriage to the smart and affable Nathan (Stephen Mangan).

On being cast as Hannah Defoe, Nicola Walker says, “I'm delighted to be joining the Defoe family and walking in Hannah's shoes as she picks her way through other people's marriages and relationships, all the while questioning her own.”

Created and written by Abi Morgan, The Split is produced by Sister Pictures for BBC One, co-produced with SundanceTV, and was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content. The series is executive produced by Sister Pictures Founder Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Humans, River), creator Abi Morgan (River, Suffragette, The Hour), director Jessica Hobbs (Broadchurch, Apple Tree Yard, The Slap) and Lucy Richer for the BBC, with Lucy Dyke (Black Mirror, Ripper Street) producing.

BBC Worldwide is handling international distribution.

BBC Announce Giri/Haji

From Joe Barton, the writer of BAFTA winning Our World War and Humans, comes an original eight-part series about a middle-aged Tokyo detective (Kenzo) who travels to London in search of his wayward younger brother (Yuto). Once thought dead, Yuto is now believed to be posing as a Yakuza gangster in London and wanted for the murder of a Japanese businessman there.

Kenzo is a lonely and driven man. His honour, his family’s well-being, and the fragile peace between the warring gangs back home, rest on him finding Yuto and returning him to Tokyo. Yet, despite the pressures of home, a mis-fit family of lonely Londoners forms around Kenzo. There’s Rodney, a half Japanese rent boy with a wicked sense of humour, and Sarah, a forensic specialist with secrets of her own. Torn between two cities, and an increasingly conflicted sense of self, Kezo wrestles with questions of guilt, duty, love and shame.

Giri/Haji is a dark, character-driven crime story which cuts between London and Tokyo, exploring the butterfly effect between the two cities, and asks - how do we live with our actions when the prisms they’re viewed through can seem to change so drastically depending on where we are or who we talk to?

Joe Barton, says: “I'm incredibly excited to be teaming up with Sister Pictures to tell this story and bring these characters to life. We want to make something that's really ambitious and unique and the BBC and Netflix feels like the perfect place to do that at the moment.”

Jane Featherstone, Executive Producer and Founder of Sister Pictures, said: “From the first moment Joe Barton spoke about his idea for Giri/Haji I was hooked because this series gives us an opportunity to examine our own culture and morality through the eyes of a foreigner, and combines fascinating characters, glorious wit and visual flair to tell a compelling and constantly twisting crime story. Sister is beyond thrilled to be making Giri/Haji for the BBC and Netflix, both of whom are wonderful partners.”

Giri/Haji has been commissioned by Piers Wenger and Charlotte Moore for BBC One, and Elizabeth Bradley and Alex Sapot for Netflix, and is a Sister Pictures production. Executive Producers are Jane Featherstone, Chris Fry and Joe Barton for Sister Pictures, and Piers Wenger for the BBC. Giri/Haji will make its world premiere on BBC One and Netflix will stream the series globally outside of the UK.

Sister Pictures lands debut ITV drama

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Jane Featherstone’s indie Sister Pictures has landed its first ITV commission - a high-stakes drama series starring Sheridan Smith.

Created by screenwriting newcomer Mark Marlow, Clean Break will follow the story of a cleaning lady who struggles to maintain her life as a devoted mother after becoming addicted to online gambling.

Sam’s world is thrown into disarray after she discovers access to lucrative stock market information and struggles to navigate the dangerous world of insider trading.

The 6 x 60-minute series was commissioned by ITV head of drama Polly Hill and will be executive produced by Featherstone and Chris Fry.

It will be directed by Lewis Arnold, who developed the drama alongside Marlow, and will be filmed in autumn this year.

Hill said she was “delighted” to have had the opportunity to commission Marlow’s first drama. “It’s such a wonderful script that finds real humour and joy in the human struggle to survive,” she said.

Featherstone added that she was proud to be making a drama about “contemporary Britain” with “a strong and complicated female lead character.”

“It’s also enormously gratifying that this comes from an exceptional brand new voice, Mark, and a brilliant up and coming director, Lewis Arnold,” she said. “Expect it to be moving, funny and surprising.”

Sister Pictures was established by Featherstone last summer and has since picked up commissions from BBC1 for The Split and Channel 4 comedy The Bisexual.

Sister Pictures options The Power

Jane Featherstone’s indie Sister Pictures has picked up the rights to Naomi Alderman’s sci-fi novel The Power.

The fledgling indie fought off competition from 10 other bidders to secure the author’s fourth novel, which was published by Penguin in October.

Sister acquired the rights from Georgina Ruffhead at David Higham Associates.

The Power is set in a fictitious world where women gain the power to electrocute people at will and explores what would happen if they were able to cause pain and destruction.

The series will be written by Alderman and developed by Sister’s Katie Carpenter. Alderman, Featherstone and Naomi de Pear will executive produce.

Alderman said the series would “expand” on the stories told in the novel.

“Jane’s track record, and her commitment to excellence in writing speak for themselves, and Sister Pictures’ deep understanding of the book impressed me hugely,” she added. “There probably won’t be another novel, but there are definitely so many more stories to tell than I had room for in the book.”

Featherstone described Alderman as “one of the boldest and most interesting authors of our time”.

“The Power is a story of our times, clever, funny, important and original, it asks us to consider a world where the shifting balances of power create a new and dangerous dynamic,” she said.

 

 

Sister Pictures opens comedy label

Jane Featherstone’s fledgling indie Sister Pictures has launched a “naughty” authored comedy label run by Flowers producer Naomi de Pear

Hootenanny will co-produce the second series of Kudos’ C4 comedy drama Flowers, which has been handed a 6 x 30-minute renewal, as well as Iranian-American film director Desiree Akhavan’s The Bisexual for Channel 4.

Former Kudos development producer De Pear joined the Liz Murdoch-backed indie in June as an exec producer. She will continue in this role in addition to heading up Hootenanny.

Will Sharpe’s Flowers was renewed by deputy head of comedy Nerys Evans and head of comedy and acting head of drama Phil Clarke, and NBC Universal’s US streaming service Seeso. The stripped comedy drama, which starred Olivia Coleman, entertained 938,000 (5%) in a 10pm slot in April..

Featherstone said Hootenanny added a new dimension to the business, with its focus on authored comedy.

“It’s not every day you find a creative relationship that is stimulating, improving and hugely fun, but with the brilliant Naomi de Pear I have just that,” she added. “It’s not an accident she is our first senior creative hire at Sister – a brave, strong and passionate producer, Naomi’s taste in writers and talent is peerless.

De Pear called Sister Pictures a “raw and passionate” outfit with “massive ambitions”.

“Hootenanny will be a home for honest, naughty and unusual pieces. Comedy is an important form, not an entertaining distraction and I believe in its ability to anarchically play with expectation,” she added.

“Initially my focus will be to work closely with writers on authored comedies that break the mould and have something to say.”

Channel 4 commissions new comedy series The Bisexual

The Bisexual is a painfully hilarious look at the difference of dating men and women from the perspective of a person who finds herself doing both. It’s an honest look at the last taboo, bisexuality and what it means to refuse to compromise on what you want.

New Yorker Leila (Akhavan) is feeling lost in London. Recently part of an uber-cool power couple, she’s now split from girlfriend Sadie and is struggling to adjust. Moving in with a ‘stranger off the internet’ she soon discovers she’s swapped her luxe old life (think: high quality condiments, plus a girlfriend who sorted all of the Life Admin) for a house-share with Gabe, a British guy who’s only ever other female ‘flat-mate’ was his mum. Gabe doesn’t know any lesbians and Leila’s not got too much experience of hanging out with heterosexuals - their worlds collide in deeply awkward and revealing ways as he becomes her unlikely wingman and helps her to navigate her new life dating men.

Offering an outsider’s view of Britain, The Bisexual is brimming with weird and wonky slices of urban life only apparent to those living on a temporary work visa, struggling to keep up with the discrepancy between what the English say versus how they actually feel. Leila is part brave, part reckless, 100% shameless and is embarking on a romantic Choose Your Own Adventure, trudging through the hell of dating - gay and straight.

The Bisexual was commissioned for Channel 4 by Nerys Evans, Deputy Head of Comedy, who said: “We are thrilled to be working with Desiree on her series The Bisexual. She has such a brilliantly unique viewpoint on finding love in your 30s. We love her candid observations, both on being an outsider in a strange city as well as the sexual politics encountered when you are neither straight nor gay. She’s honest, authentic and brilliantly funny in her delivery.”

Desiree Akhavan said ''Getting to play in the sandbox with such intelligent collaborators at Sister Pictures and Channel 4 is an absolute dream come true. They're the perfect partners in crime for a taboo sex comedy. And by that I mean they're all perverts."

Naomi de Pear, Executive Producer, said: “Desiree has got the kind of sureness of voice as a writer and director that’s rare in its honesty and hilarity. The Bisexual will be a shamelessly raw and questioning look at how people are exposed through their sex and relationships and the new rules, pitfalls and prejudices around that.”

The Bisexual is written by Desiree Akhavan and Cecilia Frugiuele (Appropriate Behaviour) and is being made by Naomi de Pear (Flowers) within Sister Pictures. It was commissioned by Nerys Evans, Deputy Head of Comedy and Phil Clarke, Acting Head of Drama & Head of Comedy for Channel 4.

The Split – a new original drama series from acclaimed BAFTA and Primetime Emmy award-winning screenwriter Abi Morgan and Sister Pictures

From BAFTA and Primetime Emmy award-winning writer Abi Morgan (River, Suffragette, The Hour) and BAFTA winning executive producer Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, River, Humans) comes The Split, a new original drama series for BBC ONE produced by Sister Pictures.

The Split examines the fast paced circuit of high-powered female divorce lawyers through the lens of three sisters - Hannah, Nina and the youngest, Rose. Hannah and Nina are leading divorce and family law lawyers working for rival firms, whilst Rose is still searching for her place in life.

Creator and writer Abi Morgan said: “As Robin Williams once said 'Divorce is expensive…Like ripping your heart out through your wallet.’ The Split exposes the complex realities of high end divorce and broken marriage through female divorce lawyers and sisters embattled and bound by their own troubled past. I am delighted to be working with the aptly named Sister Pictures, continuing the creative partnership Jane Featherstone and I built together on Tsunami, The Hour and River. I can’t think of a better home for it than with Charlotte Moore and Lucy Richer and am delighted to bring this lively and unseen world to the BBC.”   

The Split is set in London, the divorce capital of the world, where competition for clients is fierce. Over the course of the series personal and professional lives intertwine as we encounter a surprising array of cases, scandalous affairs and big figure settlements in a drama that examines the very fabric of 21st century marriage, the meaning of commitment and the nature of the ever-changing idea of family.

Jane Featherstone, Executive Producer and Founder of Sister Pictures, said: “I couldn’t be happier that Sister Pictures’ first greenlight is a fabulous Abi Morgan series for BBC1. The Split will be an emotional and entertaining exploration of love, marriage and divorce with Abi bringing her trademark wit, insight and truth to our two brilliant and strong women fighting to try and work out how to survive modern life.”   

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said: “Abi Morgan’s contemporary new series will invite BBC One viewers into an entertaining new world bringing a fresh tone to the channel. I'm excited to be working with Abi and Jane once again and giving Sister Pictures their first commission."

The Split, created and written by Abi Morgan, will be produced by Sister Pictures for BBC ONE. The series will be executive produced by Sister Pictures Founder Jane Featherstone, creator Abi Morgan, and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Further production details will be announced in due course.

 

 

New cast members for Broadchurch 3 announced ahead of filming of the final series

Award winning drama Broadchurch resumes filming in Dorset this summer with an impressive ensemble cast confirmed to appear in the third and final series.

David Tennant and Olivia Colman reprise their roles as DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller with Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan returning to play Beth and Mark Latimer.

They will be joined by National Television Award winner Julie Hesmondhalgh, BAFTA winner Georgina Campbell along with Sarah Parish, Charlie Higson and Mark Bazeley who take significant roles in the eight part series to be co-produced for ITV by Kudos, Imaginary Friends and Sister Pictures.

Arthur Darvill also returns as local Vicar Paul Coates, Carolyn Pickles as newspaper editor Maggie Radcliffe and Adam Wilson as Ellie’s son Tom.

The new series will herald a brand new case for Miller and Hardy with the detectives reuniting to investigate a serious sexual assault.

“This is the final chapter of Broadchurch,” said Chris Chibnall. “We have one last story to tell, featuring both familiar faces and new characters. I hope it’s a compelling and emotional farewell to a world and show that means so much to me.”

The series explores the consequences of a serious sexual assault as a Dorset community comes under the scrutiny of Hardy and Miller’s investigation. Based on a year of research with Dorset-based organisations who specialise in dealing with victims of sexual assault, and police advisors who specialise in investigating crimes of sexual violence, Broadchurch’s final chapter looks at the emotional cost to all of those involved and the irreparable damage to friendships and relationships.

ITV’s former Director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea have commissioned the new series.

“Broadchurch is as ever stylishly written, provocative and thought provoking,” said Victoria.  “We’re pleased with the direction Chris and Jane have taken this series and the extraordinary cast they’ve assembled.”

Broadchurch will be executive produced by Chris Chibnall (Malaterra, The Great Train Robbery, Torchwood) for Imaginary Friends and Jane Featherstone (River, Humans, Gracepoint) for Sister Pictures. Dan Winch (Indian Summers II, What We did On Our Holiday) will produce the final series.  Broadchurch is a co-production with Kudos, an Endemol Shine Group company. 

“Broadchurch has been an important part of my life and I am so delighted and privileged to be working with Chris and the team again as we embark on the very final series,” said Jane Featherstone. “We will return to the town and characters we know so well as they find themselves caught up in a new and compelling story which will test the strength of the community and the people who live there, and will, I hope, be a fitting end to this trilogy.”

On behalf of co-producers Kudos Chief Executive Officer Diederick Santer said:

“Kudos are delighted to be working in partnership with Chris and Jane once again, on what promises to be the thrilling final chapter of Broadchurch.”

The series will be directed by Paul Andrew Williams (The Eichmann Show, Murdered by My Boyfriend), Daniel Nettheim (Doctor Who, Humans, Line of Duty) and Lewis Arnold (Banana, Prey, Humans).

Filming will commence this summer in Bridport, West Bay and Clevedon, which have featured as locations in Broadchurch series one and two.

More Broadchurch news will follow to ensure the media are kept informed of specific character and plot developments.

Note to Editors:  The Shores (Dorset’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre) and Dorset Rape Crisis have supported and advised Chris Chibnall throughout writing the scripts for this series of Broadchurch.

Press contacts:

Janice Troup Tel: 0161 952 6220 Janice.Troup@itv.com

Sarah Woonton Tel: 0207 157 3066 Sarah.Woonton@itv.com

Lisa Vanoli Tel: Tel: 07899 060230 lisavanolipublicity@googlemail.com

Picture Publicity contact: Patrick Smith Tel: 0207 157 3044 Patrick.Smith@itv.com

For corporate press enquiries on behalf of the Shine Group: Alex Wells Tel: 0207 985 7173 alex.wells@shinegroup.tv

 

 

 

 

 

Jane Featherstone Launches Sister Pictures

Jane Featherstone, former Chief Executive of Kudos, Co-Chairman of Shine UK and Executive Producer of dramas including Spooks, Humans, River and Broadchurch, has announced the launch of a new independent production company, Sister Pictures.

Featherstone, who left Kudos in Spring 2015 after 15 years with the company, has been responsible for producing many award-winning dramas both for UK, US and international buyers, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, AMC, HBO, Netflix, Fox and Canal Plus.  She was the Executive Producer of Hustle and Life on Mars/ Ashes to Ashes and more recently, Utopia and Emmy-winning The Hour, the first bi-lingual Anglo-French drama The Tunnel and the multi-award and Bafta-winning Broadchurch, which has to date travelled to over 150 territories.  She will continue as Executive Producer of Broadchurch, soon to begin production on its third series for ITV, as Sister Pictures becomes a co-producer of the series alongside Kudos and writer Chris Chibnall’s company, Imaginary Friends.

Katie Carpenter joins the company as Head of Development from Kudos, where she was a Development Executive. Sister Pictures will produce drama for both UK and international buyers and has a number of projects in development. Among the initial slate of projects, Featherstone today revealed the development of a new drama series based in the world of divorce lawyers, called The Split, from Abi Morgan, creator of TV series The Hour and River and writer of films including The Iron Lady and Suffragette. 

 Jane Featherstone commented,

“This is a great time to be starting again, with such a range of global opportunities in scripted. My passion is working with writers and I am relishing the prospect of establishing Sister Pictures as an independent home where I can continue to collaborate with some of the big names in drama as well as having the opportunity to support the next raft of authors in making some brilliant television.”