Studiocanal boards ‘Long Story Short’ and ‘June Again’

L-R Dena Kaplan, Ronny Chieng, Josh Lawson, Rafe Spall, Zahra Newman

(L-R) Dena Kaplan, Ronny Chieng, Josh Lawson, Rafe Spall and Zahra Newman (Photo credit: Maria Boyadgis).

Studiocanal has acquired worldwide rights to Josh Lawson’s romantic comedy Long Story Short, which started shooting in Sydney today, and Australian rights to JJ Winlove’s dramedy June Again.

Rafe Spall (Men in Black: International, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) plays Teddy, who wakes up the morning after his wedding to discover that every few minutes he’s jumping forward to the next year of his life in writer-director Lawson’s follow-up to The Little Death.

Teddy must use every precious moment wisely to prevent losing the love of his life (Diary of an Uber Driver’s Zahra Newman) and to learn to love the life he’s losing.

The cast includes Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians), Noni Hazlehurst, Dena Kaplan and Lawson.

See Pictures’ Jamie Hilton is producing alongside Michael Pontin and Isabel Stanfield, with funding from Screen Australia, Create NSW and Spectrum Films.

Studiocanal’s Greg Denning acquired the film at script stage and introduced the producers to the Studiocanal international team in Cannes who responded similarly. The producers then attached Spall, who had starred in writer-director Dan Mazer’s romcom I Give it a Year for Studiocanal.

Denning said: “It’s one of the funniest and heart-warming scripts we have come across in many years, resonating with both our local and international teams. Josh is a comedic force of nature and we are confident that the film will deliver the kind of broad and highly entertaining comedy that audiences adore.”

Screen Australia’s Graeme Mason, Sally Caplan and Lisa Duff have championed the project since Lawson was nominated for an Academy Award best live action short for The Eleven O’Clock, shared with director Derin Seale, which Josh wrote, produced and starred in.

The DOP Matt Toll, who shot that short and was the camera operator on episodes of Cleverman and Top of the Lake, makes his feature debut on Long Story Short. Nikki Barrett is the casting director.

JJ Winlove with Stephen Curry.

Winlove’s debut film, June Again stars Hazlehurst as June, who experiences a medical miracle and then has only a few days to bring together her estranged children, save the family’s wallpaper business and rekindle an old flame.

Claudia Karvan and Stephen Curry play the children in the movie produced by Hilton, Pontin, Drew Bailey and Stanfield. The Wellington-born Winlove wrote the screenplay in 2017. His LA-based agent, Verve’s Parker Davis, and his manager Scott Carr shopped the project and Hilton pounced.

Denning followed the movie through several stages of development, was involved in casting and acquired the Australian rights after after watching the rough cut.

“JJ Winlove has crafted an inspirational, moving and uplifting story which attracted an excellent ensemble cast,” Denning said. “June Again is bound to resonate with older female-skewed audiences who are often under-served in our marketplace.”