Production underway in Newfoundland on Maudie

The Canada/Ireland copro, which will be distributed by Mongrel Media, stars Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins (pictured right). (Director Aisling Walsh pictured left.)

Cropped-AislingandSallyProduction is underway in Newfoundland on Canada/Ireland coproduction Maudie from Irish director Aisling Walsh (A Poet In New York).

Production on the project, which received script development financing from Harold Greenberg Fund in February 2014, began a few weeks ago and is set to wrap on Oct. 31. Filming will take place solely in the province, while post-production will be done in Ireland.

Walsh was attached to direct the film two years ago, and reached out to actress Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) who agreed to play lead character Maud. The involvement of Hawkins piqued the interest of Mongrel Media and the distributor made Maudie the first acquisition after the launch of its international distribution arm. Later on, Walsh also reached out to Ethan Hawke, who boarded the project after reading Sherry White’s script.

Securing Walsh as director also opened up funding opportunities on the Irish side, said executive producer Mary Sexton, with the Irish Film Board (IFB) providing development funding and equity, as well as a tax credit covering some post-production costs.

Though the film is shot in Newfoundland, the story is set in Digby, Nova Scotia and based on the true story of Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis. The film tells the story of how Maud, who was born with a severe form of arthritis, and Everett Lewis fall in love after she comes to be his housekeeper.

Sexton said the film is scheduled to be ready for May 2016, when the film will receive a limited festival release as well as its theatrical release through Mongrel.

Maudie is produced by Bob Cooper of L.A.-based Landscape Films, Susan Mullen of Dublin’s Parallel Films and Mary Young Leckie of Toronto’s Solo Productions. Exec producers on the project are Mary Sexton for Newfoundland’s Rink Rat Productions, Heather Haldane for Painted House Films, and Alan Moloney and Johanna Hogan for Parallel Films.