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Two films from Element Pictures selected to premiere at Sundance Film Festival
05 Dec 2019 : Nathan Griffin
Still from Element Pictures' Herself
Phyllida Lloyd’s Herself and Sean Durkin’s The Nest have both been selected to screen as part of the prestigious Premiere’s category at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include The Big Sick, Call Me By Your Name, Boyhood and Mudbound. The Sundance Film Festival takes place January 23rd – February 2nd in Park City, Utah.

The selection marks Element’s eighth and ninth film at Sundance since 2009 when it presented Liam Neeson in Five Minutes of Heaven, followed by The Guard in 2011, Shadow Dancer and This Must be the Place in 2012, Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank in 2014, Glassland in 2015 and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster in 2015.

Speaking on the selection at Sundance, Element Pictures producer Ed Guiney said; “We are so proud that both of these wonderful films will have their world premiere at Sundance and are delighted for Sean Durkin (The Nest), Phyllida Lloyd (Herself) and all the cast and crew. Although very different, both films will sit perfectly in the diverse and rich selection offered by the festival, one of the world’s major film events.”

Herself is directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!, The Iron Lady) and co-written by Clare Dunne, who also stars in the film, and Malcolm Campbell (What Richard Did). The film follows the story of Sandra (Clare Dunne), who on the surface of it, is a young Mum struggling to provide her two young daughters with a warm, safe, happy home to grow up in. Beneath the surface, Sandra has a steely determination to change their lives for the better and when it becomes clear that there are no other options left to her, she decides to build it herself from scratch. Other cast include Harriet Walter (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Killing Eve, Succession) and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones, Dublin Murders).

Herself was developed by Element Pictures and Merman and is produced by Academy Award® nominee Ed Guiney and Rory Gilmartin for Element, together with BAFTA award-winning actress, writer, producer, and director Sharon Horgan. The film was developed with BBC Films and Screen Ireland and production was backed by Screen Ireland, BBC Films and the BFI (with National Lottery funding).  Cornerstone Films is handling worldwide sales and distribution. Herself was shot entirely in Dublin.

Désirée Finnegan, the Chief Executive of Screen Ireland added; “Sincere congratulations to Element Pictures, Phyllida Lloyd and Clare Dunne on the selection of Herself for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Sundance is renowned for its recognition of original storytellers with fresh perspectives and provides an outstanding platform to launch a film into the international marketplace. Screen Ireland is delighted to support the creative talent behind Herself, in particular Clare Dunne, who both originated the story and stars in the film.”

The Nest is written, directed and produced by Sean Durkin; who won best director at Sundance Film Festival 2011 with his film Martha Marcy May Marlene. The Nest tells the story of charismatic entrepreneur Rory (Jude Law), who relocates his wife Allison (Carrie Coon) and their children Sam and Ben from suburban America to his native England with ambitious dreams of profiting from booming 1980’s London. While Rory thrives on chasing lofty deals in the city, Allison and the kids struggle to adapt. Once a businesswoman in her own right, Allison finds herself idle and resuming the role of housewife in a run-down mansion they can’t afford to furnish. As the eerie isolation of their new home drives the family further apart, and the promise of a lucrative new beginning starts to unravel, Rory and Allison have to face the unwelcome truths lying beneath the surface of their marriage.

The Nest is financed by FilmNation Entertainment and BBC Films. FilmNation is handling international sales. The Nest was produced by Ed Guiney, Derrin Schlesinger, Rose Garnett, Sean Durkin, Amy Jackson, and Christina Piovesa. The Nest was shot in Canada and the UK.

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