Fledgling UK-based film and TV finance company gives development backing to drama about ‘the female Lawrence of Arabia’, which reunites two of the team behind The King’s Speech.

Cascade, the UK-based film and television finance company launched at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, has announced its first feature film development investment, The Lady Who Went Too Far.

The development project reunites The King’s Speech duo, producer Gareth Unwin of Bedlam Productions and writer David Seidler, who is adapting the screenplay from Kirsten Ellis’ biography, Star of the Morning.

The Lady Who Went Too Far tells the true story of Lady Hester Stanhope, who rejected London society in the early 1800s to travel across the Mediterranean and into the Middle East, where she played a major role in stifling Napoleon’s advances towards India.

Unwin said: “It’s great to have such strong support from Cascade as they enter the financing landscape.”

Cascade CEO Mark Fisher added: “Working with Gareth and David to bring this enthralling story to screen is the best opening scene for Cascade as a company.

“To work with such talented and creative people on a project that has such international commercial appeal is a dream for us and fits perfectly with our ambitions to build Cascade as a company that can help finance and package films from established filmmakers, as well as the emerging talent that we are supporting in other ways.”

Cascade COO Cora Palfrey said: “Getting our development fund off the ground shortly after launching the company has meant that we have been able to move swiftly in providing crucial development funding to support the breadth of filmmakers we are working with, both emerging filmmakers through our Cascade Writers Couch and experienced producers. 

“We are delighted that The Lady Who Went Too Far, which has all the makings of a fantastic film, is the first development project on the Cascade slate.”

The film is scheduled to go into production later this year. Other backers include the BFI Film Fund, British Film Company, HW Buffalo & RPTVA. Unwin recently produced Erik Riklis’ Zaytoun.

Cascade operates a Seed EIS Scheme and has backing from private investors.