Matthew Warchus’ gay pride comedy to begin shooting next month.

Principal photography on Pride is to begin on Oct 7 and will shoot for eight weeks in London and Wales.

The Calamity Films production will be directed by Tony Award-winning theatre director Matthew Warchus (Matilda: The Musical) and the cast is led by Bill Nighy, most recently seen in Richard Curtis film About Time, and Imelda Stanton (Vera Drake).

The ensemble cast will also include Dominic West (300, The Wire), Paddy Considine (The World’s End) and Joseph Gilgun (This Is England) as well as Ben Schnetzer and George MacKay.

The screenplay, based on a true story, has been written by Stephen Beresford, whose debut stage play The Last of the Haussmans proved ahit at the National Theatre in 2012.

Set in the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike.  At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But the Union seems embarrassed to receive their support.

The activists are not deterred and decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners, identifying a mining village in Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person.   

Warchus described the script as “laugh out loud” and that it “ultimately moved me to tears”. 

He added: “It’s a truly affirming and inspiring story, funny, honest and moving, and by the end of it you want to punch the air and cheer.”

The film is produced by David Livingstone for Calamity and executive produced by Pathé’s Cameron McCracken and BBC Films’ Christine Langan.  Natascha Wharton is lead executive for the BFI Film Fund.

The film was developed by Pathé and Calamity Films and is being co-financed by Pathé, Proud Films, BBC Films and the BFI. 

Pathé will distribute the film in the UK and France and will handle sales throughout the rest of the world.