Sony Pictures Classics has announced that it has acquired the North and South American rights to award-winning director Sarah Gavron's (This Little Life) first feature film, Brick Lane. The film is based on the 2003 epic novel by Monica Ali about a Bangladeshi family living in the UK, and explores the British immigrant experience. Brick Lane was short listed for the 2003 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and Monica Ali was named by Granta magazine as one of twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists' of the year. Adapted for the screen by Abi Morgan and Laura Jones, Brick Lane stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Filmfare winner Satish Kaushik, (Saajan Chale Sasural and Ram Lakhan) Christopher Simpson, Zafreen and Harvey Virdi (Bride & Prejudice and Bend It Like Beckham). Gavron's first film, television's This Little Life, (2003) won numerous awards including the BAFTA TV Award for Best New Director (Sarah Gavron), Best New Writer (Rosemary Kay) and was nominated for the Best Single Drama Award. Gavron was also selected as one of Variety's "Ten Directors to Watch" at the 2004 Sundance International Film Festival. Brick Lane is a Ruby Films Production produced by Alison Owen and Christopher Collins and presented by Film4 Four, Ingenious and the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund.
Brick Lane is the story of a beautiful young Bangladeshi woman, Nazneen (Chatterjee), who arrives in 1980s London, leaving behind her beloved sister and home, for an arranged marriage and a new life. Trapped within the four walls of her flat in East London, and in a loveless marriage with the middle aged Chanu (Kaushik), she fears her soul is quietly dying. Her sister Hasina (Zafreen), meanwhile, continues to live a carefree life back in Bangladesh, stumbling from one adventure to the next. Nazneen struggles to accept her lifestyle, and keeps her head down in spite of life's blows, but she soon discovers that life cannot be avoided - and is forced to confront it the day that the hotheaded young Karim (Simpson) comes knocking at her door. Set against the changing backdrop of multicultural Britain, Brick Lane is a truly contemporary story of love, of cultural difference, and ultimately, the strength of the human spirit.
Sony Pictures Classics released the following statement: "We could not be more pleased about being in business with these producers and this director. We have been following with great interest Sarah Gavron for some time. The screenplay is a terrific adaptation of a truly formidable novel. And in the current marketplace, a large audience is out there hungering for satisfying romantic dramas centering on political and intercultural family turmoil. We are confident this is one of those pictures. "
Joy Wong of The Works International said, "We are thrilled to be involved in Sarah Gavron's feature debut and we all think that Sony Pictures Classics is the perfect home for this film, given their track record for supporting fresh and exciting new talent."
Tessa Ross, head of Film4 adds, "All of us at Film4 are huge fan's of Sarah's - she is a wonderful new talent and it's been a privilege to support her in bringing her beautiful vision to the screen. We're delighted to share this privilege with our friends and partners at Sony.
Joy Wong of The Works International negotiated the sale with Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Dylan Leiner from Sony Pictures Classics.
Brick Lane directed by Sarah Gavron. Screenplay by Abi Morgan and Laura Jones. Adapted from the book Brick Lane by Monica Ali. A Ruby Films Production produced by Alison Owen and Christopher Collins and presented by Film4 Four, Ingenious and the UK Film Council. Original Music by Jocelyn Pook. Cinematography by Robbie Ryan. Cast: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik, Christopher Simpson and Harvey Virdi.