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Working Title Films, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992, is Europe's leading film production company, making movies that defy boundaries as well as demographics.
Founded in 1983, Working Title has made nearly 90 films that have grossed over $3.5 billion worldwide. Its films have won 4 Academy Awards (for Tim Robbins' Dead Man Walking, Joel and Ethan Coen's Fargo, and Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth), 24 BAFTA Awards, and prestigious prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals.
Messrs. Bevan and Fellner have been honored with two of the highest film awards given to British filmmakers; the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, at the Orange British Academy Film [BAFTA] Awards, and the Alexander Walker Film Award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards. They have also both been honored with CBEs (Commanders of the Order of the British Empire).
Working Title has enjoyed long and successful creative collaborations with filmmakers Richard Curtis, Stephen Daldry, and Joel and Ethan Coen; and actors Rowan Atkinson, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, and Emma Thompson, among others. Its worldwide successes (in addition to those mentioned above) include Mike Newell's Four Weddings and a Funeral; Richard Curtis' Love Actually; Stephen Daldry's Billy Elliot; Roger Michell's Notting Hill; Mel Smith's Bean; Sydney Pollack's The Interpreter; Peter Howitt's Johnny English; the Coen brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Chris and Paul Weitz' About a Boy; both Bridget Jones movies (directed by Sharon Maguire and Beeban Kidron, respectively); Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice; Kirk Jones' Nanny McPhee; Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead andHot Fuzz.; and Steve Bendelack's Mr. Bean's Holiday. The company also had great success in the U.K. with Mark Mylod's Ali G Indahouse, starring Sacha Baron Cohen.
The success of Billy Elliot on film has since been repeated on the London stage. Director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter Lee Hall reunited for a stage musical version in 2005, with songs composed by Sir Elton John. The hit production, marking Working Title's debut theatrical venture (co-produced with Old Vic Prods.), continues to play to full houses in London and garnered nine 2005 Olivier Award nominations, with a win for Best New Musical. Preparations are now underway to take Billy Elliot to Sydney, and then New York (where it will open in 2008).
Last year saw the release of Paul Greengrass' United 93 to critical acclaim worldwide, leading to two BAFTA wins (for Best Direction and Best Editing) and an Academy Award nomination for Best Directing.
Forthcoming releases in 2007 and 2008 include Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age, the long-awaited follow-up to the celebrated Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, and Clive Owen; Adam Brooks' Definitely, Maybe, starring Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Derek Luke, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks, and Rachel Weisz; Nick Moore's Wild Child, starring Emma Roberts; Beeban Kidron's Hippie Hippie Shake, starring Cillian Murphy, Sienna Miller, Emma Booth, and Max Minghella; Kevin Macdonald's State of Play, starring Brad Pitt; Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon, adapted by Peter Morgan from his play of the same name and starring Frank Langella and Michael Sheen; and Joel and Ethan Coen's Burn After Reading, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, and John Malkovich.