Scots film distributors pick a winner

Cox’s The Carer for UK release.

by Richard Mowe

Brian Cox in The Carer
Brian Cox in The Carer

With Brian Cox, Hungarian director János Edelényi and newcomer Coco König in attendance, The Carer received its red carpet European premiere last night (20 June) as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. It has been snapped up by Edinburgh-based Cinéfile for distribution in the UK and Ireland.

The sell-out first screening at Filmhouse is followed by a second Cineworld show today (21 June), which already is close to capacity but has tickets still available.

The film will receive its London premiere on 5 August at the Regent Street Cinema, to be attended by the director and actors Emilia Fox, Anna Chancellor and Coco König. It will also be part of the line-up in the Chichester Film Festival later in the month. It goes on selected release from 5 August.

“We’re convinced that the subject and Cox’s presence in an impressive cast will prove attractive to audiences. And the so-called silver screen patrons are an increasingly important part of the fabric of cinema-going although the film crosses generations,” said Ilona Morison, Cinéfile’s head of acquisitions. The film is eligible for the EIFF audience award based on a poll of spectators.

Cox (who is 70, the same age as EIFF) is a patron of Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre where his acclaimed Waiting For Godot was performed last season. He has also been shooting a new Churchill biopic in the city. He appears at his magisterial best in what has been described as “enormously enjoyable comedy drama. “ He stars as Sir Michael Gifford, a retired Shakespearean actor suffering from Parkinson’s disease that has left him frustrated and gloriously grumpy. He contributed to the script by the late Gilbert Adair and Tom Kinninmont. Particularly noteworthy is the inspiring speech Gifford gives at an awards ceremony.

His family in the film, among them his daughter (played by Fox), insist that he has a carer to live in at his country manor, and he ends up with Hungarian refugee Dorottya (König) who has acting aspirations of her own. Ex-Bond Roger Moore has a cameo.

The Churchill production sees Dundee-born Cox playing the former Dundee MP who went on to lead Britain to victory in the Second World War.

The Carer’s world premiere took place earlier in the year at the Palm Springs Film Festival.

In addition to The Carer, Cox (a committed Remainer, he revealed last night, along with director János Edelényi) appears in the EIFF programme in a western, Forsaken, directed by Jon Cassar and co-starring Kiefer and Donald Sutherland.

Cinéfile, a well-established boutique distributor based in Edinburgh, will release Pierfrancesco Diliberto’s The Mafia Kills Only In Summer in July. It was the hit of Scotland’s Italian Film Festival last year.

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