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Bille August talks new projects

EXCLUSIVE: Double Palme d’Or winner is to begin production on 55 Steps in October.

Double Palme d’Or winner Bille August has given further details of his upcoming projects.

August revealed he is to begin production on 55 Steps starring Helena Bonham Carter and Vera Farmiga in October.

The film, on Atlas International’s slate, is about a lawyer defending a schizophrenic patient.

“It’s a story that takes place in San Francisco in 1989. It is based on a true story,” August said. The film details the real-life case of Eleanor Riise (Bonham-Carter), a woman in a mental hospital who hired a lawyer (Farmiga) to sue the medical establishment. John Goodman is also in the cast.

“These two characters are completely opposite. It’s like a ying and yang story but they develop a beautiful friendship,” the director said.

The US producer is Sara Risher and the European producer is Anita Elsani.

Following 55 Steps, August is planning an adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s Beware Of Pity. “We’ve finished the script and we are just starting to cast the film. The idea is to shoot next spring.”

Beware Of Pity was an acknowledged influence on Wes Anderson’s recent The Grand Budapest Hotel. As already announced, this is backed by Senator.

Silent Heart, which August has just completed, is a drama in which a woman with a terminal illness draws three generations of her family together for a final weekend together.

It stars Ghita Nhørby, Morten Grunwald and Paprika Steen. Level K is screening footage of the film here in the market.

August won the Palme d’Or for Pelle The Conqueror and The Best Intentions.

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