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Effie producer debunks Twitter claims about production troubles

EXCLUSIVE: Donald Rosenfeld says Emma Thompson period piece is almost finished shooting.

Producer Donald Rosenfeld has reacted angrily to claims on Twitter that period drama Effie, starring Dakota Fanning and Emma Thompson, has hit turbulence during its shooting in Venice.

Tweets posted last week reported that unpaid crew members were leaving the production in droves and that suppliers were refusing to have anything to do with the movie until they were paid.

Rosenfeld dismissed these assertions and said that the $15 million Victorian-era film was on course. Shooting is now almost complete. The producer said that the rumours were being spread by a crew member who had been fired from the production. “She has started a Twitter campaign against me,” he alleged.

Effie is directed by Richard Laxton. It tells the story of John Ruskin, the eminent Victorian art critic, and of his troubled marriage to Effie Gray. Other cast members include Robbie Coltrane, David Suchet and Italian cinema legend Claudia Cardinale. Emma Thompson wrote the script.

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A source at Ealing Studios, where Effie set up its production base, said that the Studios had seen “no problems” with the film.

Attempts to reach crew members for comment through the Production Guild were unsuccessful.

The film, which is being made through Sovereign Films and High Line Pictures, doesn’t have a sales company attached. It was financed through private equity. Rosenfeld is producing alongside Andreas Roald.

“In a perfect world I’d like to bring it to Venice,” Rosenfeld said of the festival at which Effie might launch.

Rosenfeld (who used to head up Merchant Ivory Productions) was one of the producers on Terrence Malick’s Palme D’Or winner The Tree Of Life and is also a producer on Malick’s forthcoming Voyage Of Time. 

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