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Gemma Arterton’s ‘Their Finest’ Closing Santa Barbera Fest, Set for March Release

Dave McNary

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will close on Feb. 11 at the Arlington Theatre with World War II romantic comedy “Their Finest,” starring Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin.

EuropaCorp has set a March 24 theatrical release in the U.S. Lone Scherfig (“An Education”) directed the Gaby Chiappe screenplay, based on the novel “Their Finest Hour and a Half” by Lissa Evans. Bill Nighy, Jack Huston and Richard E. Grant also star.

“Lone’s deeply touching film is authentic, funny and depicts the power that cinema has to bring people together and share their stories,” said festival director Roger Durling.

“Their Finest,” set in 1940 in Great Britain with the nation devastated by the war, centers on the British ministry turning to propaganda films to boost morale at home and hiring Arterton’s character as a scriptwriter in charge of writing the female dialogue. Although her artist husband looks down on her job, her  natural flair quickly gets her noticed by Claflin’s character, the lead writer, and they set out to make a movie based on the Battle of Dunkirk starring a a pretentious fading movie star (Nighy).

“Their Finest” premiered at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival with Variety’s Andrew Barker calling the film “relentlessly charming.”

The film is produced by Stephen Woolley, Amanda Posey, Finola Dwyer and Elizabeth Karlsen. Christine Langan, Ed Wethered, Robert Norris, Ivan Dunleavy, Peter Watson, Zygi Kamasa and Thorsten Schumacher serve as executive producers. The film is produced by Number 9 Films and Wildgaze Films.

“Their Finest” will open against Warner Bros.’ “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” and Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers.”


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