Sony Takes Multi-Territory Bet on Toni Collette, Damian Lewis Drama ‘Dream Horse’


The film, being released in the U.S. by Bleecker Street, is based on the hit documentary ‘Dark Horse’ about a local British community and a winning race horse.

Dream Horse, the upcoming drama starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis, has been picked up by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions in a multi-territory deal.

Cornerstone Films has also closed deals with Welt Kino (Germany), Impuls (Switzerland), Hakuhodo DY music & pictures Inc. (Japan) and Terry Steiner (airlines). As previously announced, Bleecker Street and Topic Studios have jointly acquired the U.S. rights and Warner Bros is distributing in the U.K. The SPWA deal includes rest of world, excluding Canada, Italy and France.

From BAFTA-winning director Euros Lyn, Dream Horse also stars Owen Teale, Joanna Page, Karl Johnson, Nicholas Farrell and Siân Phillips, shot in Wales and is currently in post production.

The film follows Jan Vokes, a cleaner and bartender, who recruits her initially reluctant husband Brian and local accountant Howard Davies to help her bring together a syndicate of local people to breed a foal, which they name Dream Alliance. On the racetrack, he proves himself to be more than a match for the multi-million pound racehorses he comes up against – a true working-class champion, taking on the establishment at their own game. But much more than this, Dream begins to alter the lives of everyone in the syndicate, not least Jan’s. He is everything to her: friend, confidant and an escape from a life of always putting other people’s needs first.

The true story behind the film was previously told in the documentary Dark Horse, produced by Judith Dawson and directed by Louise Osmond, also backed by Film4 and Ffilm Cymru. It won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance before being released by Picturehouse in the UK and Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S.

The RAW production was written by BAFTA award-winning writer Neil McKay and developed with Film4. It is produced by Katherine Butler and Tracy O’Riordan. Executive producers are Piers Vellacott and Joely Fether for RAW, Daniel Battsek and Ollie Madden for Film4, Peter Touche and Stephen Dailey for Ingenious Media and Pauline Burt for Ffilm Cymru Wales.

Film4, Ingenious Media and Ffilm Cymru Wales provided funding for the film, which is also supported by the Welsh Government. They are joined by Warner Bros U.K., which will release the film in the U.K.. Cornerstone Films handled international sales, and is selling rights in Canada, Italy and France.