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Gillies MacKinnon reaches for Dizzy Heights

The UK's Gillies MacKinnon is to direct Dizzy Heights, a romantic comedy produced by Theta Films and sold by Vine International Pictures at Cannes.

The story of a love triangle set in London, the film is billed as a dark blend of romantic comedy, music and magical imagery. The script is by Clive King, who previously worked in theatre and television. Producers are Joy Mellins and David Shanks from Theta Films, a production-development outfit set up in May 2002.

Currently in pre-production, Dizzy Heights is scheduled to shoot from early September with a budget of just under £4m. Financing comes from a mix of UK tax and equity money, and the producers plan to shoot part of the film in Ireland to access the Section 481 tax break.

"I picked up this script at random from my reading pile and was in Theta Films' offices the next morning," said Gillies MacKinnon, whose credits include Pure, The Last Of The Blonde Bombshells, Hideous Kinky, Regeneration and Small Faces.

"I knew this was the film I wanted to make. A romantic comedy with terrific characters and a slightly mad tone. A story that is funny and poignant with a hard edge that is crying out for stylised visuals with truthful characters who will captivate an audience, allowing them to sit back and ride the roller-coaster."

Cast is not yet in place, but offers are out to Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola and Gabriel Byrne, according to producer Mellins.

Queen guitarist Brian May will supervise the film's soundtrack.

In addition to Dizzy Heights, Theta Films is also developing the adventure film Casanova.

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