Go Team Studiocanal! Read the presser below!
STUDIOCANAL Australia announces feature film Helena as the first development project to be funded through the STUDIOCANAL Cultivator Fund. A bio-pic about Polish-Australian-American cosmetics businesswoman, art collector and philanthropist Helena Rubinstein, this unique project is produced by Antony Waddington (The Eye of the Storm) and AACTA and International Digital Emmy® Award winner Marcus Gillezeau (Storm Surfers 3D, Scorched). It is written by Gold AWGIE winner Katherine Thomson (Answered by Fire).
Established to further the growth of local stories, the STUDIOCANAL Cultivator Fund focuses on the development and production of unique Australian and New Zealand stories which will resonate locally and transcend to international markets. The fund fortifies STUDIOCANAL’s already significant place in the local market by bolstering the local film industry, developing local talent and creating feature film stories for broad audiences.
For the development of Helena, STUDIOCANAL is partnering with Scripted Ink, an innovative, not-for-profit script development company that aims to shape, build and invest in the Australian screen industry by supporting writers and creating new pathways for script development. Scripted Ink incubates and accelerates quality Australian writing through direct development funding, showcasing writers and their work to the industry and brokering creatively and commercially successful partnerships.
Award winning writer Katherine Thomson has easily connected with Helena Rubinstein, bringing to the material a dynamic, fresh approach that will translate strongly to a major feature film.
In 1928 Helena Rubinstein is at the height of her powers, with famous salons in Melbourne, London, Paris and New York all booming. The first businesswoman to beat the men of Wall Street at their own game, Helena faces a challenge that forces an incredibly difficult decision: give up control of her empire or lose her marriage with Edward Titus and her children.
STUDIOCANAL Head of Sales & Acquisitions and Development Manager Greg Denning says, “STUDIOCANAL is delighted to be to be partnering with producers Antony Waddington and Marcus Gillezeau, writer Katherine Thomson, Scripted Ink and Create NSW in the development of Helena. It’s an inspirational story of a true social and entrepreneurial trailblazer whose worldwide legacy continues to this day. Helena’s timely story will no doubt captivate audiences both here in Australia and around the world. It’s an exciting project that STUDIOCANAL is very proud to be partnering with through our Cultivator Fund”.
Scripted Ink Head of Development Tim Pye comments, “Scripted Ink is absolutely thrilled to be partnering with STUDIOCANAL, producers Antony Waddington and MarcusGillezeau and writer Katherine Thomson in the development of Helena. It’s a compelling story with a fantastic creative team behind it.”
He adds, “This project has all the creative ingredients for a film that will find a very wide, international audience and commercial success. It’s also a perfect example of Scripted Ink’s purpose – working with industry to create great outcomes for all stakeholders. Very exciting!”
Producer Antony Waddington says, “A challenging aspect of taking an idea from inception, through development and into production in Australia is the ‘starting from scratch’ element of raising funds for each draft of a screenplay. This also adds considerable time to the process.”
He continues, “This exciting position, for which we thank Elizabeth Trotman and Greg Denning of STUDIOCANAL, Tim Pye of Scripted Ink, and Create NSW, allows us to proceed with complete focus on the creative process. Our writer Katherine Thomson will be fully supported throughout script development with this finance pathway secured. To this day, Rubinstein’s rags to riches story of self-invention is inspiring and staggering to contemplate.”
Producer Marcus Gillezeau says, “It’s exciting to bring to the big screen this compelling and important story about an extraordinary woman who began her rise to fame and fortune in the cosmetics industry in rural Australia, before taking to the world stage. Her story of balancing the demands of family life along with managing an empire that spanned several continents and employed over 10,000 staff at its peak, will resonate strongly with contemporary audiences.”
He adds, “Having the support of Scripted Ink, Create NSW and the backing of STUDIOCANAL ensures the film, going into production in 2019, will reach audiences globally.”