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Working Title Films, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992, has become Europe's leading film production company, making movies that defy boundaries as well as demographics.
Working Title, founded in 1983, was recently presented with the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at the Orange British Academy Film Awards [BAFTA, Britain's equivalent of the Oscar] and the Alexander Walker Film Award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards. Together, Messrs. Bevan and Fellner have made more than 70 films that have grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide. Their films have won 4 Academy Awards (for Tim Robbins' Dead Man Walking, Joel and Ethan Coen's Fargo, and Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth), 20 BAFTA Awards (including ones for Richard Curtis' Love Actually and Mike Newell's Four Weddings and a Funeral), and prestigious prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals, among other honors. Messrs. Bevan and Fellner were recently made CBEs (Commanders of the British Empire).
In addition to those films mentioned above, Working Title's other worldwide successes include Roger Michell's Notting Hill; Mel Smith's Bean; Sydney Pollack's The Interpreter; Peter Howitt's Johnny English; Joel and Ethan Coen's O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Chris and Paul Weitz' About a Boy; and both Bridget Jones movies (directed by Sharon Maguire and Beeban Kidron, respectively). The company has enjoyed long and successful creative collaborations with writer/director Richard Curtis; actors Rowan Atkinson, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant; and the Coen Brothers filmmaking team, among others.
Upcoming Working Title films include Kirk Jones' Nanny McPhee, written by and starring Emma Thompson and also starring Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, and Kelly Macdonald; and Phillip Noyce's Hotstuff, starring Tim Robbins and Derek Luke.
In 1999, a new division, WT, was formed with the purpose of providing an energetic and creatively fertile home for key emerging U.K. film talent and lower-budgeted productions. Its first film, Stephen Daldry's Billy Elliot, was released in 2000 and became an international critical and commercial hit. The film grossed over $100 million worldwide, earned three Academy Award and two Golden Globe Award nominations, and was named Best Feature at the British Independent Film Awards. The film's director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter Lee Hall have reunited for a stage musical version, with newly composed songs by Sir Elton John. The production, marking Working Title's debut theatrical venture (co-produced with Old Vic Prods.), opened at London's Victoria Theatre in May 2005 to glowing reviews.
WT's subsequent films have included Mark Mylod's Ali G Indahouse, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, which was a smash in the U.K.; Marc Evans' acclaimed thriller My Little Eye; Terry Loane's Mickybo & Me; Damien O'Donnell's Rory O'Shea Was Here (also a Focus Features release), which won the Audience Award at the 2004 Edinburgh International Film Festival; and Edgar Wright's award-winning sleeper hit rom zom com (romantic zombie comedy) Shaun of the Dead (a Rogue Pictures release).