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Swarovski Launches Film Company: First Project is 'Romeo and Juliet,' Starring Hailee Steinfeld

Photo of Matt Mueller By Matt Mueller | Thompson on Hollywood May 20, 2012 at 2:04PM

Swarovski is a name fairly well linked to the twin bastions of cinema and glamour; over the years the crystal company has collaborated on costume and jewelry design for everything from "The Wizard Of Oz" to the recent "Mirror Mirror."
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'Romeo and Juliet'
'Romeo and Juliet'

Swarovski is a name fairly well linked to the twin bastions of cinema and glamour; over the years the crystal company has collaborated on costume and jewelry design for everything from "The Wizard Of Oz" to the recent "Mirror Mirror." Expanding into film production seems a natural step for the luxury brand to take and their production offshoot, Swarovski Entertainment, recently wrapped shooting on its first feature: an adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet" shot in Italy and starring Hailee Steinfeld and rising British star Douglas Booth. (More details here.)

The project’s originator was producer Ileen Maisel, who brought the idea of making a traditional version of "Romeo and Juliet" set in medieval Italy to Julian Fellowes. The "Gosford Park"/"Downton Abbey" screenwriter and his wife Emma happen to be friends with Nadja Swarovski and, aware that her family-run company were contemplating the leap into film, suggested they invest in "Romeo And Juliet."

“I said yes immediately,” says Swarovski. “We want to extend our presence within the film industry in a more proactive way by investing.” Asked why they would want to enter the notoriously risky world of finance and production, Swarovski says, “For us, creativity is the driver for commerce, so film seemed like a natural journey.”

"Romeo And Juliet" will not be, insists the glamorous chairwoman, “a two-hour Swarovski ad. Yes, there is crystal in the costumes and the jewelry but in a subtle yet impactful way.”

This article is related to: Cannes Film Festival, Festivals, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

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.