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The 70th Berlinale International Film Festival will be held from February 20 to March 1, 2020.
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Start of principal photography on Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s (BLACKFISH, MEGAN LEAVEY) THE FRIEND

Scott Free and Black Bear Pictures announced today that principal photography on Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s (BLACKFISH, MEGAN LEAVEY) THE FRIEND, starring  Jason Segel (FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, THIS IS 40, THE END OF THE TOUR), Dakota Johnson (FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TRILOGY, A BIGGER SPLASH, SUSPIRIA)  and Academy Award-winner Casey Affleck (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, OLD MAN & THE GUN, upcoming LIGHT OF MY LIFE)  has begun on location in Fairhope, Alabama today in the town where the Teague family, who’s story the film is based on, resided. 

 

It was also announced that Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI), Cherry Jones (BOY ERASED, “The Handmaid’s Tale”), Jake Owen, Denee Benton (“Hamilton: An American Musical”), Marielle Scott (LADY BIRD), Ahna O’Reilly (THE HELP), Isabella Kai Rice (“My Dead Ex”, “Pretty Little Liars”) and Violet McGraw (“The Haunting of Hill House”) have joined the cast.

STXinternational, a division of STX Entertainment, introduced the film to buyers at the recent European Film Market where it sold out worldwide. Territories sold include Searchers for Benelux, Metropolitan for France, Tobis for Germany, Lucky Red for Italy, Odeon for Greece, Cinemundo for Portugal, AB Svensk for Scandinavia, Sun for Latin America and Spain, Impuls for Switzerland, Top Film for CIS, ACME for Baltics, Vertical for Eastern Europe, E-Stars for China, PVR for India, PT Prima for Indonesia, Tohokushinsha for Japan, Storm for Korea, Pioneer for Philippines, Caichang for Taiwan, Indokina for Vietnam, HBO for Pan Asia PTV, Gulf for Middle East, Shoval for Israel and Caribbean Cinemas for West Indies. STXinternational will directly distribute the film in the UK and Ireland, and Elevation Pictures, owned by Black Bear, will distribute directly in Canada.

 

The film will be directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. Cowperthwaite’s documentary, BLACKFISH, went on to earn a BAFTA nomination for Best Documentary. She most recently directed drama MEGAN LEAVEY starring Kate Mara.

 

The screenplay, based on Matthew Teague’s National Magazine Award-winning article first published in Esquire Magazine, was adapted by Brad Ingelsby (AMERICAN WOMAN, RUN ALL NIGHT, OUT OF THE FURNACE). Link to article: https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/a34905/matthew-teague-wife-cancer-essay/

 

“The Friend” tells the extraordinary true story of Nicole (Johnson) and Matthew Teague (Affleck) who, after learning that Nicole has just six months to live, receive the unexpected support of the couple’s best friend (Segel) who decides to move into their family home and put his own life on hold. His impact on everyone is much greater - and more profound - than anyone could have imagined. 

 

Scott Free and Black Bear Pictures are producing, with Black Bear fully financing. Producers are Scott Free’s Kevin Walsh, Michael Pruss & Ryan Stowell, alongside Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman. 

 

Ridley Scott will executive produce along with Black Bear’s Ben Stillman and Michael Heimler.  Ingelsby, Teague and Ted Deiker will also serve as Executive Producers.

Christie is represented by WME, Independent Talent Group, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Jones is represented by WME. Owen is represented by WME and Good Company Entertainment. Benton is represented by WME, Perennial Entertainment, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams. Scott is represented by Gersh. O’Reilly is represented by WME, Untitled Entertainment, and Myman Greenspan. Rice is represented by Innovative Artists and Definition Entertainment. McGraw is represented by Coast to Coast Talent Group, Wild Briar Talent, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams. 

 

 

About STXinternational

STXinternational is a division of STX Entertainment, a global, next-generation media company whose mission is to unlock the value of the direct connection stars have with their fans through the development, financing, production, marketing and distribution of film, television, VR, digital video, music and live entertainment content.  It is the industry leader in transforming beyond traditional platform-driven content to creating talent-driven enterprises.

About Black Bear Pictures

Teddy Schwarzman’s Santa Monica-based Black Bear Pictures is the award-winning production and financing company behind such films as Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Dee Ree’s acclaimed drama Mudbound, and George Clooney’s Suburbicon. Since its 2011 launch, Black Bear’s slate has grossed over $300,000,000 worldwide. Black Bear also owns Elevation Pictures, one of Canada’s leading film and TV distributors. 

About Scott Free Productions

Scott Free Productions was formed in 1995 and is the film and television production vehicle of acclaimed film director Ridley Scott. The company is responsible for some of the most successful films ever made -- including Top Gun, Gladiator, and Blade. Recent titles include Murder on the Orient Express, Alien: Covenant, and All the Money in the World.

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Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
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