Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME), the London-based feature film production outfit led by Mike Downey and Sam Taylor, is embarking on its biggest project yet.
F&ME, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is developing the $15 million The Spy Princess currently being written by Happy Feet and Babe: Pig in the City screenwriter Judy Morris. Based on the biography by Shrabani Basu, The Spy Princess tells the true story of Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim Sufi female secret agent who was awarded the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre.
Morris, a long time collaborator with George Miller was nominated for an Annie for her work on Happy Feet. A director will be announced shortly for the project, due to go into production in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Another (F&ME), project in pre-production in Durban and set to start shooting in 10 days, is StreetkidsUnited. Directed byTim Pritchard, Streetkids is about group of British and African street kids preparing for the Street World Cup. Produced by Downey, Taylor and Sandy Markwick the film is executive produced by Stephen Daldry. Music will be provided by Mark Dornford May’s Isanga Portobello group, the team responsible for Berlin Golden Bear winner U Carmen eKhayelitsha and who collaborated with Downey and Daldry on Sundance hit Son of Man.
The film, which is backed sports and media celebrities including Simon Mayo, Jamie Redknapp, Gary Lineker, Nancy Dell’Olio and Alastair Campbell, will be delivered to coincide with the 2010 World Cup and a 2 x 50 minute TV specials will also be produced.
Meanwhile, Dominic Murphy’s $9m A Gift From the Culture, will also shoot in South Africa in September. Shane Smith, who wrote Murphy’s White Lightnin’ (pictured) has scripted the project, based on a short shtory by Iain M. Banks.
A Gift from the Culture will be produced via Muphy and F&ME’s jointly owned production house MASS Productions and casting begins in March