Cornerstone Sells Diane Keaton’s ‘Hampstead,’ Rachel Weisz’s ‘Denial’ to Multiple Territories

By Leo Barraclough | Variety

Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder’s Cornerstone Films has closed sales deals for multiple territories for Joel Hopkins’ “Hampstead,” a romantic drama starring Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson, and Mick Jackson’s legal drama “Denial,” starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Spall.

“Hampstead” has been acquired by eOne (U.K., Australia/New Zealand), Splendid (Germany, Benelux), Kino Swiat (Poland), Odeon (Greece), former Yugoslavia (Discovery) and Singapore (Shaw).

“Denial” has been sold to eOne (U.K., Spain, Australia/New Zealand), Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (Latin America, Scandinavia, Israel, Eastern Europe), Cinema (Italy), SquareOne (Germany), Film Coopi (Switzerland) and Shaw (Singapore).

“Hampstead,” which is inspired by a true story, centers on Donald (Gleeson), who lives in a ramshackle hut on the edge of London’s Hampstead Heath. His simple lifestyle is suddenly threatened by property developers, and American widow Emily (Keaton) steps up to take his side in the battle.

Gooder told Variety: “When it came to ‘Hampstead’ it was easy to tune buyers into the sheer entertainment value of this story.”

The film is produced by Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae from Ecosse Films, with a screenplay by Robert Festinger (“In the Bedroom”).

“Denial” is about the real-life legal battle between American professor Deborah Lipstadt (Weisz) and British historian David Irving (Timothy Spall), who claimed that there was no evidence that Hitler ordered the killing of Jews. Wilkinson plays her brilliantly strategic but eccentric lawyer, Richard Rampton, who had to prove in court that the Holocaust happened.

Thompson told Variety: “’Denial’ is an important film that deals with issues that are very relevant in today’s world, which is becoming increasingly divided, but in which it is increasingly important to stand up for what is right and what is the truth.”

Gooder said: “’Denial’ is very timely. The issues and the politics of the film are present in every territory around the world. So for us it has been easy to make a connection — politically, socially and emotionally — to buyers on the issues that the film is investigating.”

The script is by David Hare, who adapted Lipstadt’s book. It is produced by Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff.

Bleecker Street previously acquired North American rights.