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Mad as Birds

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Fig.1 Mad As BirdsMad as Birds Films is a U.K. based independent film and TV production company. Since 2014 MAB has developed, produced and completed a wide slate of uniquely exciting and commercial projects. Through their quality, ambition and creative vision they consistently attract globally recognised talent to the nest.Genre agnostic. Entertainment specific.

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DUKEGenre: Action ThrillerDuke Green lives a life off grid as a border smuggler. He is the Ghost…the man who never was, that you never saw. He guides across borders undetected, taking with him whatever his client demands: cash, weaponry, drugs, art works. His only real contact is Marcus. Marcus knows three things about Duke. That he won’t take people. That he’s partial to an Old Fashioned and a Lucky Strike and that you should never play him at chess. Beyond that he couldn’t tell you a damn thing and that’s just how Duke likes it.He becomes embroiled in a deadly mission when he is forced to carry out an operation against his will. Old scars are ripped open as our hero is pursued by infamous gangsters, a courageous border cop and past demons.Writers: Celyn Jones and Joe BoneClick to Request Script FILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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CALL GIRLSGenre: Comedy DramaFollowing the closure of a local factory, a group of women find themselves talking dirty for a living. Through their unlikely success story, they provide an escape route for their community who have come to rely on an aggressive loan shark. Our Call Girls are thrown in at the deep end, only taking the work as they have no other option. Some are naive, some ashamed and some absolutely love it. The only thing that have in common is their dirty little secret.They begin to make decent money, much more than they did at the factory. This, along with a new found confidence (being paid by the minute to boss men around) changes them and they take more control over their lives and decide to take on the local bully who has been preying on the desperation of their struggling neighbourhood.With a visible backdrop of a Northern working class life in the 90s, we follow the women’s search for a living, a search that gives them independence, acceptance and a path to lifting their community out of fear.Full Monty meets It's A Wonderful Life in this life-affirming, heart warming comedy drama from the co-creator/writer of Car Share.Writers: Paul Coleman (Car Share)Brennan Reece (Live at the Apollo)Request Script & TreatmentFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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THE NIGHT GUESTGenre: Adaptation - Psychological ThrillerRuth lives alone in her seaside home she once shared with her husband. Hers is a structured and solitary existence, punctuated by obligatory calls from her adult sons and the occasional sounds of an imagined tiger strolling through her parlour at night. Her mind is fragile and often betrays her.One morning the dominating Frida arrives claiming to have been sent by the government as a personal aide. Ruth must adjust her daily routine to Frida’s, who can “fix everything” and yet is “always wanting without ever quite admitting it.”Together the women battle with their vulnerabilities as the tension ratchets. Clues mount that Frida is not who she claims to be but is it too late? A beautifully imagined portrait of isolation within an unsettling psychological thriller that twists and turns towards its shocking and unforgettable ending.Celyn JonesFiona McFarlaneColin JonesThruline EntertainmntWriter/Director: Based on the book by: Casting: Co-producer: Click to Request ScriptFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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THE SIX LOVES OF BILLY BINNSGenre: DramaStarring Tom CourtenaySomewhere in the universe a teacup begins to fall. It’s perched on the knee of Billy Binns who, at the age 101, reckons he is finally coming of age despite his fragile mind. Everybody has always liked the charismatic Billy sadly more than Billy has liked Billy. He didn’t receive much love as a child so sought it out wherever and in whoever he could, making him a hopeless romantic. Before those final drops of tea edge at the saucer he's occupied with one question - Can love only exist in a memory and if so where does it go?First was the mysterious Mary from when he was a boy before enlisting as an aerial spotter above the Somme. He thought he loved her but didn’t they all? Then Evie, his ‘forever girl’, who loved him right back until he played with fire and ruined it for them all. Half a lifetime later there was a nightclub singer Vera who needed his kindness in the darkest of times. Then his estranged son Archie who never visits. In later life, Mrs Jackson, a divorcee from the West Indies brought him out of romantic retirement… briefly.“But there were six loves and I can only remember five!’In the home where he lives, Billy lets the carer Sylvie paint his nails and push him up to the local fried chicken shop. Jimmy makes him laugh and the diminishing clientele have a habit of missing breakfast.Meanwhile, the teacup continues to fall while Billy struggles to remember what love feels like in his last moments…until a hand squeezes him back reminding him that they were always there. ‘It’s you.'Written by Richard Lumsden and based on his book of the same nameDirector: Celyn JonesCasting: Alex JohnsonClick to Request ScriptFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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A LEAGUE APARTGenre: Romantic ComedyOne woman’s stand for love, friendship, family and football. A job she hates, a cheating boyfriend and being the only female fan of the worst team in the league, life isn’t easy for Christina, but that’s all about to change, well, some of it.It’s 1991 and Christina stands as the lone female in a stadium full of disgruntled male fans, as Wrexham have just come bottom of the entire football league. She deflects any abuse she might receive as she’s heard it all before while her Father and two best friends Rish and Ian give back as good as she gets, this is the lowest of the low… that is until she returns home to find her boyfriend cheating on her. Six months later, and still picking up the pieces of her life, Christina puts her full attention to the three things she loves: her family, her friends and her football team, but there is soon to be a fourth when she is literally knocked off her feet by the charismatic American Marty, he hits her with his car! With a relationship blossoming Christina tries to act more ‘lady-like’ to fit in with Marty’s business associates, but she can’t change who she really is. Can the relationship survive the difference in class and culture, or are they just a league apart?Director: SJ EvansFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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FILM DEVELOPMENT SLATEDating SantaDATING SANTAGenre: Holiday RomComWhat if Santa really is real? But you only find out after you're dating him. High powered Advertising Executive and notorious grinch Gwen is fired and dumped by her ex/business partner. Meanwhile, Nick Klaus mourns the death of his latest wife. Turns out Santa is immortal, but his wives are not. When Gwen and Nick meet on the dating circuit, it’s a rocky start. So, they decide to save time by cutting right to the ultimate deal breaker: meeting their families. Nick charms Gwen’s gender non-specific best friend, her adorable little niece, pregnant sister, and obnoxious extended family. But when Nick reveals that his home is the North Pole and flies her in his sleigh to meet the elves, Gwen freaks out and breaks up with him. Heartbroken and disheartened by Gwen's cynicism, Nick decides that this will be his last Christmas. His elves have other plans: They send the ghosts of Nick’s wives to haunt Gwen and convince her to return and save Christmas. Can she make it in time? A feel-good holiday romp. Writer: Heather Estay Click to Request Script

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THE CORRUPTGenre: WesternIn a town there’s a Murder, a Railroad, a Gangster, a Marshal and a girl named Patience. The young girl, on the brink of losing it all, finds a gunman in the desert. He is haunted by his past and she by her future, together they could survive. But the old west is changing and a local tyrant wants a piece of it all and everyone.Everyday the track draws nearer. America, with all its promises, breathes down the thirsty neck of Franklyn and his nameless town. Every metre laid creates a lifetime between Billy and his chance at everlasting peace. Every new dawn thrusts Patience closer towards womanhood and away from the child her parents vowed to save. All in the name of progress and legacy. This is a new nation, ruled by the gun and made good by money but you can’t erase the past...time and patience will prove that. A classic western re-imagined through the lens of a Danish noir master.Celyn Jones, Joe Bone Kristoffer Nyholm Dan Hubbard WME IndependentWriters: Director: Casting: Sales Agents: Click to Request ScriptFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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GRANGE HILL - THE MOVIEGenre: DramaMad As Birds and Cultural trailblazer, Sir Phil Redmond, will collaborate to reimagine his iconic British TV brand Grange Hill as a feature film for a modern audience.To generations, Grange Hill was always more than a school. More a social barometer. It was a centre of community and a front line for change. Today, in a post-pandemic world, that front line is now even more perilous to navigate. Hence the often reoccurring hashtag and headline #BringBackGrangeHill .Grange Hill The Movie will reintroduce the brand as the ‘powers that be’ want the old school gone... so who will be left to help the Head in the fight for survival? The theme is that blurred, ethereal line between good and evil. The people versus the bureaucracy. A story where the pupils, parents, and, of course GH alumni – like Tucker, Zammo and Imelda – come together to ‘save it’.A universal story that will appeal to all generations at a time they most need it, a call to arms. Evocative of those great British films like Pride, Brassed Off, Full Monty, Looking For Eric and Made In Dagenham that will also boast a role-call of great British acting talent too. All the above will be laced with all those essential GH qualities of humour, heart and humanity.A later television project may follow, but the first day of this new term will premiere to a cinematic audience. It is time for that school bell to ring again.Writer: Phil RedmondFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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THE BRIGHT LIGHTSGenre: Coming of age comedy dramaDafydd Rowlands, 24. Butcher boy by day. Wannabe Rock God by night.Despite still living at home with him Mum, being dumped by his girlfriend, abandoned by his Dad and pressured to take over the failing family butchers, Dafydd is determined to find a way out of Bala, his North Wales home, by the end of the year.He assembles an unlikely group of local misfits and outcasts to form a Britpop-style band and compete in a life-changing music event in far-away England. His dreams of escape seem a little bit closer when he recruits Bethan, the Vicar’s daughter with a scandalous past, as the lead singer.But the road out of Wales is littered with obstacles and challenges in many forms. With Christmas rapidly approaching, Dafydd finds himself torn between his dream and the woman, family and town he must leave behind. With a sound track of BritPop Britain in the 90s, this comedy drama is not a story of a rag-tag band who find fame - This is about lost souls who find themselves through each other - just in timeWriter: Kris PathiranaDirector: Michael Hoffman (A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Last Station, One Fine Day)Co-producer: Avenue Pictures Click to Request ScriptFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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MAJOR GOONGenre: Comedy dramaThe origin story of The Goons (Spike Milligan, Harry Seacombe, Peter Sellers and Michael Bentine) and how they declared war on comedy. A film about how Jimmy Grafton discovered the most influential, anarchic and groundbreaking comedy group in modern history. If WWI gave us the poets, WWII gave us alternative comedy. We follow the battles from the war fields to the BBC and how Jimmy Grafton led this group to form new boundaries and challenge the convention of comedy as the world knew it.Cited as an influence on the likes of The Beatles, Monty Python and Eddie Izzard, The Goons was a huge British export across, amongst others, the US, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Canada.Writer: Director: Celyn Jones Gillies McKinnonClick to Request ScriptFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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I USED TO BE IN PICTURESGenre: Adaptation. Family, Coming-Of-Age DramaThe remarkable and touching account of how teenage brothers from New Malden in England connected with iconic film stars of Old Hollywood.Their beautifully thoughtful letters reached the likes of Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart and Elizabeth Taylor who were all touched and moved by the affectionate attention and recognition they received from the boys in the twilight of their careers.It became oxygen for the celebrities who were keen to maintain the relationship by any means and a heavy responsibility for the young men to shoulder. Even at their young age, the brothers understood the power of remembering but how on earth can they afford the postage and phone bills? A brothers’ true journey, a hilarious and poignant odyssey of fading glamour that started in 1980’s England and got as far as a BBQ at Sinatra’s house. It’s a coming of age and a passing of youth story, rolled in a Hollywood red carpet.Writers: Ash Brannon and Celyn JonesAdapted from the book “I Used To Be In Pictures - An Untold Story Of Hollywood” by Austin and Howard Mutti-Mewse FILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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20TH CENTURY BOYGenre: Historical dramaHenry Cyril Paget 5th Marquis of Anglesey challenged Edwardian notions of class, gender and decorum, performing in his own theatre – the converted family chapel - as ‘The Dancing Marquess’ in gem-encrusted costumes.Without formative parental guidance, Henry rejected society’s codes of conduct and subverted the aristocrat versus working class relationship. A flamboyant dandy who inherited the equivalent of £11 million a year, his marriage to first cousin Lily Chetwynd failed to quell worldwide rumours about his behaviour.Harnessing the power of his own image, Henry spin-doctored his reputation internationally. Surviving derision by the Establishment, Henry distanced himself from Lilly with compulsive spending and barriers of ‘yes’ men in a downward spiral of excess. After six years, bankruptcy beckoned and Henry’s world was auctioned over forty days to repay creditors the equivalent of £60 million.Writer: Lisa BakerDevelopment Funders: Ffilm Cymru WalesClick to Request ScriptFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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CAPTAIN FLORAGenre: Adaptation. War DramaBased on the true story of Flora Sanders, the only British woman to serve as a soldier in World War 1Renowned for her sense of humour and appetite for drinking whiskey, smoking cigarettes and making mischief...Flora Sandes was thirty-eight when she joined the war. She was awarded The Order of Karadorde’s Star, which is Serbia’s highest military decoration. Flora went on to serve in both world wars and retired in England, where she died aged eighty after a long and extraordinary life. She did not fight for ideology, but for the excitement and camaraderie.Captain Flora will have all the exhilaration, adventure and epic battle sequences you would expect from a classic war movie but Flora is the stark and essential difference at this film’s core.Adapted from the book “A Fine Brother: The Life of Captain Flora Sandes” by Louise MillerClick to Request TreatmentFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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THE MURDER OF SONNY LISTONGenre: Adaptation. Crime DramaJanuary 5th 1971, World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston was found dead in his home - of an apparent heroin overdose. But no one close to Liston believed that his death was accidental. The mystery around his death hovered over Las Vegas and the sports world, leaving unanswered questions about his ties to powerful boxing promoters, billionaire hoteliers, mob kingpins, shadowy drug lords and rogue jazz musicians.The film charts the last mysterious year of Sonny Liston’s life set against the backdrop of a pivotal year in the history of Las Vegas. A portrait of his complicated death, his wasted talent and power. Think "Raging Bull" meets “Goodfellas".Writers: Shaun Assael, Celyn JonesExec Producer: Trevor Beattie (Moon, Mute)Adapted from the book “The Murder Of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin and Heavyweights” by Shaun AssaelFILM DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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FUN LOVE MONEYThe story of Pete Waterman and The Hit FactoryPete was inspired, ambitious and an outsider. And for a brief moment in time, in the mid 1980s he provided the soundtrack to our lives.Pete conceived the idea of a hit production line, pumping out songs that would join the dots and dominate the 1980s single charts. The magic of The Hit Factory was that its performers were an eclectic mix of unlikely pop stars reflecting the diversity of real life in the 80s.From US drag queen Divine to flamboyant Pete Burns. Rick Astley, the unassuming boy from Newton-Le-Willows to Mel and Kim, born to British and Jamaican parents. And from Bananarama to Australian soap stars, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan.The Hit Factory is the story of all of us: dancing, lusting, working and wishing we all should be so lucky...lucky, lucky, lucky.Cast: Christopher EcclestonWriter: Lee HardmanExec Producer: Pete Waterman Co Producer: Andrew CritchleyClick to Request ScriptTV DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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MINOTAUR - A COLD BLOODED SAMARITANGenre: Crime/ThrillerLuc is a killer. He’s the best, unremorseful and the coldest of killers. Amongst the French underworld there is no one more feared. But a raw nerve has been exposed inside and he’s feeling something that he hasn’t for a long time. Something has snapped within and it’s not the first time. He runs, once again gravitating towards a strange vulnerable place in a foreign land. Some obscure landscape he can bleed into and do penance. Maybe even fix things and maybe even heal. Somewhere he can choose to go and do good before he is dragged back to hell because this sabbatical can’t last forever.Where does all the evil go? Know your shadows and beware the Minotaur.Writer: Celyn JonesStoryline for 3 series. 6 x 60’ per series. Episodes one and two availableClick to Request Scripts & TreatmentTV DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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STAND UP KNEEL DOWNGenre: Comedy drama / 10 x 30 minsWhat if finding God meant losing everything?What happens when radical Comedian and notorious atheist Danny starts hearing a voice in his head? A voice that claims to be God. A voice that thinks Danny’s a bit of a dick. Iconoclastic British comedian and committed atheist Danny Boden is trying to break America but he has his world turned upside down when he’s paid a visit by God, who has a plan for him. A war of attrition ensues between staunch non-believer Danny and the unsurprisingly staunch believer God. Over the series we see the rusting away of Danny’s iron clad certainty and self-belief until only one thing is for certain – choosing to be saved will destroy him.Stand Up Kneel Down has a classic British sense of humour dropped into an iconic American landscape. The characters are funny and moving, the situations believable and shocking. It will be fresh, funny, bitingly radical and thoughtful. A transatlantic TV ‘dramedy’. The theme of the show is the farce of certainty; a reminder that just because someone makes a loud noise about something doesn’t mean that they are right or even sure themselves. We all get scared and feel alone, we all question life, existence and the universe and we are all capable of change. There will always be enough ambiguityfor the audience to decide for themselves.Writers: Roger Drew (Veep, The Thick Of It)Steve Parry (I'm a Celebrity)Adam Bostock-Smith (Never Mind The Buzzcocks)Click to Request Script & TreatmentTV DEVELOPMENT SLATE

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THE ALMOND & THE SEAHORSEGenre: Adaptation / DramaWhat happens when you’re ambushed by time - your memories deleting, relationships erasing?Funny, poignant and moving, the film follows two families as they come to terms with the aftermath of traumatic accidents and how they navigate new paths forward in their lives.Sarah (Rebel Wilson) is an aspiring archeologist, anxious that she will be forgotten by her partner Joe (Celyn Jones) as his memory takes itself in a new direction.At the same time, Gwen (Trine Dyrholm) is stuck in a time warp whose face in the mirror is unfamiliar and there's a strange person at the door claiming to be her partner, Toni (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Doctor Falmer (Meera Syal) refuses to give up on them, determined not to let them all unravel.Cast: Rebel Wilson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Trine Dyrholm, Celyn Jones, Meera SyalWriters: Celyn Jones, Kaite O'ReillyDirectors: Celyn Jones, Tom StermSales Agent: WME/Bankside (US)Bankside (Worldwide ex UK)Picnik Entertainment (UK)4COMPLETED

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SIX MINUTES TO MIDNIGHTUK TrailerGenre: ThrillerInspired by true events.It’s the Summer of 1939. An exclusive English finishing school is the home for daughters of high ranking Nazis. The Union Jack and flag of Nazi Germany share equal prominence on the school badge and its just weeks before WWII...Thomas Miller (Eddie Izzard) teaches literature and language skills to the students under the watchful eye of proud headmistress Miss Rocholl (Judi Dench). The girls polish their English and learn to represent the ideal of German womanhood, embodied in Ilsa Keller (Carla Juri), the leader of the prestigious German League for Girls.Convinced that Ilsa is a spy and has been laying the groundwork for an invasion, Thomas begins his own investigation and what he discovers chills his blood. When Thomas is framed for murder he goes on the run, facing a battle to exonerate himself and save both his students and his country from the grip of Hitler.Writers: Cast: Directors: Distributors: Celyn Jones, Eddie Izzard, Andy GoddardEddie Izzard, Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent, Carla Juri, James D’Arcy, Celyn Jones, David SchofieldAndy GoddardLionsgate & Sky Originals (UK), IFC (US), Transmission (Australia/NZ) New York Times James KingCOMPLETED

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POMSTrailerGenre: ComedyMartha (Diane Keaton) has sold all her earthly possessions, left her home in Queens and set her sights on greener pastures; the picture perfect retirement community of Sun Springs in Florida. It’s a place where palm trees line the streets, the skies are always clear and the Sun Springs “taxi” (the residents’ name for the ambulance) drives by two or three times a day.Friends think she’s gone crazy; more simply Martha is dying and plans to see out her final days in this empty shell of a place. That is until she meets Sheryl (Jacki Weaver) her neighbour, outgoing, obnoxious she prefers gambling to knitting. Martha finds herself compelled to do something meaningful with her time left and decides to fulfil her lifelong ambition of becoming a cheerleader. But you can’t cheer alone...POMS has all the tantrums, triumphs, and mind-boggling dance moves you’d expect from an all-American cheerleading film. But beyond the bright lipstick and razzle dazzle we see something more unique and delightful; women in their 60s, 70s and 80s shaking their thing. It’s a darkly comic, life-affirming tale of mortality and ageing cut to a foot-stomping soundtrack.Cast: Screenplay: Story by: Director: Diane Keaton Jacki Weaver, Rhea Perlman, Celia Weston, Alisha Boe, Pam Grier,Charlie Tahan, Bruce McGill, Phylis Somerville.Shane AtkinsonZara Hayes and Shane AtkinsonZara HayesCo-Producers: Distributors: Sierra Pictures, Rose PicturesSTX Entertainment (US), Entertainment OneCOMPLETED

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THE VANISHINGUK TrailerGenre: Psychological ThrillerInspired by true eventsOn an uninhabited island 20 miles from the rugged Scottish coast, three lighthouse keepers arrive for their six week shift.As Thomas (Peter Mullan), James (Gerald Butler) and Donald (Connor Swindells) settle into their usual, solitary routines, something unexpected and potentially life-changing occurs. They stumble upon something that isn’t theirs to keep. Where did it come from? Who does it belong to? A boat appears in the distance that might hold the answer to these questions. What follows is a tense battle for survival as personal greed replaces loyalty - and fed by isolation and paranoia, three honest men are led down a path to destruction.Cast: Writers: Director: Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan, Connor Swindells, Soren Melling, Olafur Darri OlafssonCelyn Jones, Joe BoneKristoffer NyholmDistributors: Lionsgate (UK), Saban Films (US)Sales Agent: Protagonist Pictures (worldwide ex US), CAA (US)COMPLETED

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SET FIRE TO THE STARSUK TrailerGenre: DramaSet Fire to the Stars is a playful, humorous and moving snapshot of one of the world’s most beloved poets. In 1950, John Brinnin (Elijah Wood) invited the highly acclaimed and infamous Welshman Dylan Thomas (Celyn Jones) to New York for a series of poetry readings, touring around the most prestigious college campuses of the United States.Ignoring persistent rumours of Thomas’ frivolities back home, Brinnin has his hands full when the poet arrives on US shores. Desperate to get his watchful university chaplains off his back, Brinnin takes Thomas to his family retreat in the woods of Connecticut. But even in the middle of nowhere, the resourceful and cantankerous Thomas finds an audience for his art, his passion, love and aggression.Shot stunningly in black and white, Set Fire to the Stars invites the audience to spend a week with the force of nature that is Dylan Thomas, brought to life beautifully by Goddard’s deft direction and exceptional performances by Celyn Jones and Elijah Wood.Cast: Writer: Elijah Wood, Celyn Jones, Kelly Reilly, Shirley Henderson Celyn Jones and Andy GoddardDirector: Andy GoddardCOMPLETED

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