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Small Things Like These, starring Cillian Murphy, acquired by Lionsgate
06 Jun 2024 : News Desk
Small Things Like These
Lionsgate has acquired distribution rights to Small Things Like These in North America, the UK and Ireland. Starring and produced by Cillian Murphy, the film is an adaptation of a Claire Keegan novel of the same name.

Following the world premiere of Small Things Like These at the Berlinale, where the historical drama opened the festival and earned Emily Watson (God’s Creatures) a Silver Bear, Lionsgate has acquired the film. Roadside Attractions will release the film alongside Lionsgate in the US.

Set in an Irish town in 1985, Small Things Like These follows coal and timber merchant Bill Furlong (Cillian Murphy) in the lead up to Christmas, as he struggles with his conscience and the fear of standing up to church powers upon discovering the local convent’s treatment of unmarried mothers and their babies. The film is based on the novel of the same name by author Claire Keegan, whose novella Foster was adapted for the screen as An Cailín Ciúin.

The film stars Oscar-winner Murphy (Oppenheimer), Watson, Eileen Walsh (The Golden West), Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones), Ciarán Hinds (Kin), and Zara Devlin (Ann). As well as starring, the film was produced by Murphy with Alan Moloney through their new production company Big Things Films. Catherine Magee, Matt Damon and Drew Vinton are also producing, with executive producers Ben Affleck, Kevin Halloran, and Michael Joe for Artists Equity.

“We are incredibly proud to bring this film to audiences,” said Adam Fogelson, Chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “Claire Keegan’s book is a captivating, heart-wrenching, and empathetically told story of a character who uncovers not only a local mystery, but also discovers who he really is. Cillian is at the peak of his powers, both as an actor and a producer, and it’s exciting to work with Matt and Ben to distribute a film they have shepherded so lovingly. It’s especially meaningful for us to be distributing in Ireland, where we are confident audiences will embrace the film.”

Murphy added: “Especially since Small Things Like These marks the first project from Big Things Films, I’m particularly pleased Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will bring it to audiences in Ireland, the US and UK. Making the film was a labour of love; I can’t wait to talk about it. We are enormously grateful to Artists Equity for their unwavering support throughout this process. From the moment we shared the script, they have been there for us, and we are immensely grateful for their philosophy and partnership.”

The Irish-Belgian production is directed by Tim Mielants (Patrick) from an adapted screenplay by Enda Walsh (Disco Pigs). Mielants and Murphy previously worked together on series three of Peaky Blinders, and Murphy has starred in a number of Walsh's plays including Misterman and Grief Is The Thing With Feathers.

The film was financed by Artists Equity and Screen Ireland, and co-produced in Belgium by Wilder Content. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales.

Production on Small Things Like These took place in New Ross, County Wexford for four weeks in early 2023. Quay Street, O’Hanrahan Bridge, Conduit Lane, and Michael Street featured as shooting locations. An estimated cast and crew of 80 people were based in New Ross for five to six weeks during production.

Lionsgate is yet to announce a theatrical release date for Small Things Like These.

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