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Dark Sky Acquires British Science Fiction Drama ‘Lola’  

Dark Sky Films has acquired North American distribution rights to Lola, the science fiction drama from writer/director Andrew Legge and starring Stefanie Martini (Prime Suspect 73, The Last Kingdom) and Emma Appleton (The Witcher, Pistol). The film will be released in early August.

Giles Edwards, head of development & acquisitions at Dark Sky Films, is currently on the ground in Cannes and negotiated the distribution agreement with Yana Georgieva, head of sale for Bankside Films.

Lola is set in 1940 in England, where enterprising sisters Thomasina “Thom” Hanbury (Appleton) and Martha “Mars” Hanbury (Martine) have built a machine, Lola, that can intercept radio and TV broadcasts from the future. The device gives them an exciting preview of the world to come, including music by the likes of David Bowie and the Kinks. But with World War II escalating, the sisters decide to use the machine as a weapon of intelligence, with world-altering consequences.

Debuting feature director Legge, who co-wrote the screenplay with Angeli Macfarlane, employs a documentary-like approach to tell his story, which centers on footage discovered in old movie reel cans in a deserted house — footage that purportedly reveals the work of the eccentric sisters. Much of Lola was shot with period cameras, the footage then home-processed in a vintage 16mm developing tank in order to give the movie an authentically aged feel. The actresses were even trained in how to use the cameras for certain crucial scenes.

Lola features original songs and score by Neil Hannon (the forthcoming Wonka) of The Divine Comedy. The film is produced by Alan Maher and John Wallace of Cowtown Pictures (Rialto) and co-produced by Alice Lusher and Catryn Ramasut of ie ie productions (Queerama), with funding from Screen Ireland, Head Gear Films, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Roads Entertainment. Executive producers are Phil Hunt, Compton Ross, Stephen Kelliher, Sophie Green, Dearbhla Regan, Bizzy Day, Andrew Legge and Danielle Ryan.

Lola is an impressive accomplishment, a film that transcends sci-fi and the found-footage genre to tell a powerful and compelling story,” said Edwards of Dark Sky. “We’re excited to bring Andrew Legge’s amazing debut to a wide audience.”

Dark Sky Films, the home of horror classics like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The House of the Devil and Emelie, has had success most recently with 1BR, Girl on the Third Floor and Coming Home in the Dark. Its upcoming release Mother, May I?, starring Kyle Gallner (Smile, Dinner in America) and Holland Roen (Teen Wolf), is currently selling at Cannes’ Marché du Film.

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