AN international cast including American Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly, Irish actor Cillian Murphy and French actress Mélanie Laurent are confirmed to film a drama titled Cry/Fly in Winnipeg and southern Manitoba in March.
The film, co-produced by local company Buffalo Gal Pictures, will mark the English-language debut of Peruvian director Claudia Llosa, whose 2009 film The Milk of Sorrow won the Golden Bear Award at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival.
Connelly is a former child actress who won a supporting actress Oscar for her role in the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind. She plays a mother whose mysterious disappearance is investigated by her adult son (Murphy), a falconer, and a journalist (Laurent).
Murphy, most visible recently as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in all three of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, is an Irish actor who established his career in the films of Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Sunshine).
Mélanie Laurent was an established French actress who broke through in Hollywood in the role of the vengeful Nazi hunter Shosanna Dreyfus in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds.
The film is currently in pre-production, with casting for smaller roles underway. Producer Phyllis Laing confirms the shoot is planned to take place between March 11 and April 19.
Director Llosa, the daughter of filmmaker Luis Llosa (Anaconda) is "a very talented director and she absolutely loved the locations in Manitoba," Laing said.
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Laing revealed that Buffalo Gal's visual-effects affiliate Opus VFX created more than 100 visual effects for the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Last Stand. Opus is the company that rose from the ashes after Frantic Films' visual-effects division was sold to Indian company Prime Focus in 2007. Prime Focus shut down the Winnipeg operation in 2009.
In September last year, Opus announced the production of a feature-length animated film titled Emma's Wings: A Bella Sara Tale, based on an 18-book fantasy series from Denmark. Laing says the film, while not yet completed, looks so good, plans for a second film are already underway.