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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  • SONY PICTURES CLASSICS ACQUIRES MIKE LEIGH'S LATEST FILM
  • NEW YORK (March 19, 2013) - Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American, Latin American and Eastern European rights to Mike Leigh's upcoming film currently referred to as "Untitled Mike Leigh 13".

    7 time Academy Award® nominee writer/director Mike Leigh has been planning for over a decade his most ambitious film yet, a portrait of England's greatest artist JMW Turner.

    Leigh has gathered a prestigious cast and crew led by actor Timothy Spall (SECRETS & LIES, TOPSY TURVY, the HARRY POTTER series), Casting Director Nina Gold (THE KING'S SPEECH, THE IRON LADY, SECRETS & LIES), Director of Photography Dick Pope, Academy Award® nominee for THE ILLUSIONIST (SECRETS & LIES, TOPSY-TURVY, ANOTHER YEAR), Hair and Make-up artist Christine Blundell, Academy Award® winner for Leigh's TOPSY-TURVY and Costume Designer Jacqueline Durran, recent Academy Award® winner for ANNA KARENINA and Academy Award® nominee for PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and ATONEMENT.

    The film is produced by Georgina Lowe (ANOTHER YEAR) and executive produced by Gail Egan (VERA DRAKE, TOPSY TURVY, ANOTHER YEAR) and will begin production in Spring 2013 for a 2014 release. Production partners on the film include Film4, British Film Institute (BFI), Focus Features International, LipSync and Xofa Productions.

    The National Gallery, Tate Britain and the Royal Academy have granted special access to some of Turner's original works.

    Mike Leigh has said of the film, "Turner as a character is compelling. I want to explore the man, his working life, his relationships and how he lived. But what fascinates me most is the drama that lies in the tension between this driven eccentric and the epic, timeless world he evoked in his masterpieces. I also see rich tragic-comic potential in his often turbulent relationship with the English Art Establishment, especially in his later years, when his increasingly radical work was misunderstood and derided."

    "We are convinced Mike Leigh and JMW Turner are a match made in movie heaven. We are so pleased to be in partnership with Mike and his producers with a story that promises to be his best film ever" says Sony Pictures Classics.

    "After our successful collaboration on ANOTHER YEAR, it is great to be reunited with Sony Pictures Classics," adds Mike Leigh.

    ABOUT SONY PICTURES CLASSICS Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.

    Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 31 Academy Awards® (27 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 135 Academy Award® nominations (109 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for AMOUR, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

    ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/.

    Press Contact: Bebe Lerner (323) 822-4800 Sheri Goldberg (646) 723-3800