By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 7, 2012 at 3:29PM
"Hunky Dory," starring Minnie Driver and directed by Welsh filmmaker Marc Evans, has gone to Gravitas Ventures and Variance Films for US distribution. They will release the film in theaters and VOD early 2013. The glam-rock UK musical debuted at the London Film Festival and stateside at SXSW. The film already had a theatrical run in the UK last March.
Evans' semi-autobiographical high school musical stars a winning Driver as a drama teacher in 1976 who puts on a production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," complete with David Bowie and ELO pop classics. Driver based her performance on all her "unconventional teachers who swore at you a lot," she said at SXSW. The movie, shot in Swansea, was conceived long before "Glee," and feels both authentic and universal, as we root for the gang to put on their show. Local actor on-the-rise Aneurin Barnard ("Citadel") and the rest of the young cast sing live.
"Hunky Dory" was produced by Jon Finn and Dan Lupovitz. "It turns out the myth about how musical the Welsh are is true and it's been a pleasure to watch American audiences at film festivals discover that, and delight in the charm and good-natured entertainment of 'Hunky Dory,'” says Lupovitz. The synopsis is below.
This is Gravitas and Variance's second partnered acquisition, the first being the awkwardly titled "3, 2, 1…Frankie Go Boom," which arrives on VOD September 10 and in theaters October 12.
Hunky Dory takes us back to 1976, where an idealistic high school drama teacher (Driver) in a small Welsh seaside town fights sweltering heat, conservative colleagues, and general teenage apathy while trying to stage an end of the year production of The Tempest. To better engage her students, she decides to transform Shakespeare’s masterpiece into a glam rock-infused musical featuring hits from David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Beach Boys, Dusty Springfield, and Electric Light Orchestra.