Cannes: Cornerstone Boards Mike Leigh’s ‘Peterloo’

By Robert Mitchell | Variety

Palme d'Or-winning director set to begin production next week

Palme d’Or-winning director Mike Leigh is set to start production on his new film “Peterloo,” which Cornerstone Films is introducing to international buyers at the Cannes Film Festival. Shooting will begin Monday on location in England and continue until late August.

“Peterloo” tells the story of the infamous 1819 massacre at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester, England, when many working people were injured and killed.

“There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre,” said Leigh, adding that the historical event’s universal significance was becoming “ever more relevant in our own turbulent times.”

The film is produced by Georgina Love and executive produced by Gail Egan. It is co-financed by Amazon Studios, Film4, the BFI and Lipsync. Film4 developed the film. Amazon Studios is handling U.S. distribution.

It reunites Leigh with some of his regular collaborators, including cinematographer Dick Pope, editor Jon Gregory, production designer Suzie Davies, costume designer Jacqueline Durran, composer Gary Yershon and make-up and hair designer Christine Blundell. A cast of more than 100 actors has been assembled for the film.

Leigh won the Palme d’Or in Cannes for his 1996 film “Secret & Lies,” which also won the prize of the Ecumenical Jury. He has competed in the official Cannes lineup five times, most recently with 2014’s “Mr. Turner,” and won the best director prize at the festival in 1993 for “Naked.” His 2010 film “Another Year” also received special mention from the Ecumenical Jury.