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Focus Features International Nabs Deals on Mike Leigh's J.M.W. Turner Passion Project, and on Amy Winehouse Documentary

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 3, 2013 at 4:22PM

Focus Features International has announced multi-territory sales on writer-director Mike Leigh's J.M.W. Turner biopic, a long-gestating passion project starring Leigh regular Timothy Spall as the renowned Brit painter; and on Asif Kapadia's untitled documentary on troubled singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011.
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Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh

Focus Features International has announced multi-territory sales on writer-director Mike Leigh's J.M.W. Turner biopic, a long-gestating passion project starring Leigh regular Timothy Spall as the renowned Brit painter; and on Asif Kapadia's untitled documentary on troubled singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011.

The Turner project marks the second partnering between Leigh and Focus, who previously released the critically acclaimed portrait of marriage and loneliness, "Another Year," for which Leigh was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It will be Leigh's most ambitious film to date, with the Tate Britain and Royal Academy granting special access to some of Turner's paintings for the film. (More on the project here.) Sony Pictures Classics has stateside rights for the film.

The untitled Winehouse documentary is produced by director Kapadia and James Gay-Reese; these two collaborated on buzzy doc "Senna" in 2012, which nabbed two BAFTA awards for Best Documentary and Editing.


This article is related to: News, Mike Leigh, Focus Features, News


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.