HanWay Films has boarded world sales on Sweet Sue, the feature debut of UK writer-director Leo Leigh, now in post-production.
Screen can reveal a first look at the film, above. HanWay will debut it to buyers with first footage at next month’s online European Film Market (February 10-17).
The film is produced by Scott O’Donnell and Tim Nash for UK-US firm Somesuch, with 2015 Screen Star of Tomorrow Andy Brunskill through his SUMS Film & Media.
BBC Film is backing the project by Leigh, who is the son of renowned UK director Mke Leigh.
The executive producers are Eva Yates and Sally Campbell for BBC Film and Somesuch respectively; plus further backers Oliver Ridge, Safitri Widagdo, Kathryn M. Moseley, Piers Hunt, Pietro Greppi and Trigger Films.
Sweet Sue wrapped production in December 2021. The film had an extended rehearsal process where Leigh worked closely with the actors to develop the script and characters, echoing the techniques of his father.
The comedy-drama follows a middle-aged woman who meets a mysterious biker at her brother’s funeral, and sparks fly between the pair. She then finds herself in an increasingly surreal battle of wills with his ambitious social-media influencer son, who is convinced that his dance troupe Electric Destiny is tipped for stardom.
It stars Shameless actor Maggie O’Neill in the lead role, alongside Peaky Blinders’ Tony Pitts as the biker and Harry Trevaldwyn from Netflix feature The King as the son. Further cast includes Nick Holder, Anna Calder-Marshall, Paul Hilton, Hannah Walters, Jeff Rawle, Johann Myers, Amaka Okafor, Anthony Adjekum and Anna Francolini
“Sweet Sue is a timely human story about life choices, love and everyday struggles that will resonate with buyers across the world looking for a British film with a big heart,” suggested Gabrielle Stewart, managing director of HanWay Fims.
Leigh’s previous work includes the 2016 Bifa-nominated short Mother, and Channel 4-commissioned short Sometimes Chinese. He has also shot documentaries including Beautiful Liverpool and Swansea Love Story for online media platform Vice.