Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American rights to the Venice hit Blue Jean, the directorial debut of Georgia Oakley that stars Rosy McEwen, and plans to release it next year.
Blue Jean won Venice’s Giornate degli Autori People’s Choice Award and is set in 1988 Britain where Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government is about to pass a law stigmatizing gays and lesbians.
That forces Jean (McEwen), a closeted gym teacher, to live a double life and the arrival of a new student sparks a crisis that will challenge Jean to her core. “Blue Jean is like a beautiful island in the sea of current filmmaking,” Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles said in a statement. “Georgia Oakley displays the touch of a master and Rosy McEwen’s performance is nothing short of incandescent.”
Written and directed by Oakley, Blue Jean is produced by Hélène Sifre’s Kleio Films, with backing by BBC Film and the BFI, in association with Great Point Media. “Witnessing the audience respond to Blue Jean in Venice was such a special moment for our team,” Oakley said. “We couldn’t be more excited to join Magnolia Pictures’ roster of new voices and work together to bring the film to North American audiences.”
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia executive vp Dori Begley and senior vp of acquisitions John Von Thaden, with Fabien Westerhoff at Film Constellation acting on behalf of the filmmakers.