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Fox Searchlight Acquires ‘A United Kingdom,’ Sony Pictures Classics Picks Up ‘Maudie’

Fox Searchlight is reteaming with "A United Kingdom" director Amma Asante after distributing her 2013 film "Belle."

“A United Kingdom”

20th Century Fox

Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired the North American rights to “A United Kingdom,” director Amma Asante’s biographical drama about King Seretse Khama of Botswana’s marriage to Ruth Williams, a white woman from London, in the 1940s. The film stars David Oyelowo as Khama and Rosamund Pike as Williams and is produced by Richard McCallum, Oyelowo, Brunson Green, Peter Heslop, Justin Moore-Lewy and Charlie Mason.

READ MORE: David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike Bring Historical Love Story to Satisfying Life – TIFF Review

Pathé, BBC Films, the BFI and Ingenious Media financed the movie, which hits theaters on February 17, 2017.

“This moving love story spans continents while also being intimate and specific, anchored by the powerful performances of David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike,” Fox Searchlight Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley said in a statement

Asante’s 2013 film “Belle,” about the mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral in 18th century England, was also distributed by Fox Searchlight. “They are the perfect partners to help tell the story of King Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams and to expose audiences to their enduring love,” Asante said in the statement. Oyelowo commented that he was “elated to be back in business” with Fox Searchlight, which distributed his 2006 film “The Last King of Scotland.”

Sony Pictures Classics also announced Friday that it has acquired all rights in the U.S. and several international territories to Aisling Walsh’s biopic of artist Maud Lewis, “Maudie.” The film stars Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke and is based on a true story of an unlikely romance between Lewis and a woman named Maud who is determined to be his housekeeper.

READ MORE: Telluride Review: ‘Maudie’ Is A Paint By Numbers Love Story

Telefilm Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation, Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund, the Ontario Media Development Corporation & Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board financed “Maudie,” which was produced in association with Corner Piece Capital, LLC & Citadel Canadian Films Inc. “Maudie” is a Rink Rat Productions/Screen Door/Parallel Films co-production. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and played earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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