Cillian Murphy’s Berlin Drama ‘Small Things Like These’ Acquired By Lionsgate

On the heels of its world premiere in competition as the opener for the Berlin Film Festival, the historical drama Small Things Like These, produced by and starring Oppenheimer Oscar winner Cillian Murphy, has been acquired by Lionsgate.

The studio holds rights to the film in North America, the UK and Ireland and will release it in the former territory alongside Roadside Attractions. No release date has yet been disclosed.

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An adaptation of the acclaimed Claire Keegan novel that won star Emily Watson the Silver Bear in its Berlin debut, Small Things Like These takes place over Christmas in 1985, when devoted father Bill Furlong (Murphy) discovers the startling secrets being kept by the convent in his town, and some shocking truths about his own life as well.

Directed by Tim Mielants, who previously collaborated with Murphy on the BAFTA-winning series Peaky Blinders about to get a follow-up film, Small Things Like These was scripted by another longtime collaborator of Murphy’s, Enda Walsh. The project was financed and put into production by Artists Equity, the artist-led studio founded by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Murphy and Alan Moloney produced as the first feature through their Big Things Films. Other producers included Catherine Magee, as well as Matt Damon and Drew Vinton for Artists Equity. Ben Affleck, Kevin Halloran, and Michael Joe exec produced, with Belgium’s Wilder Films co-producing. The film is an Irish/Belgian co-production with additional funding from Screen Ireland.

Stated Adam Fogelson, Chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, “We are incredibly proud to bring this film to audiences. Claire Keegan’s book is a captivating, heart-wrenching, and empathetically told story of a character who uncovers not only a local mystery, but also discovers who he really is. Cillian is at the peak of his powers, both as an actor and a producer, and it’s exciting to work with Matt and Ben to distribute a film they have shepherded so lovingly. It’s especially meaningful for us to be distributing in Ireland, where we are confident audiences will embrace the film.”

Added Murphy, “Especially since Small Things Like These marks the first project from Big Things Films, I’m particularly pleased Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will bring it to audiences in Ireland, the US and UK. Making the film was labor of love; I can’t wait to talk about it. We are enormously grateful to Artists Equity for their unwavering support throughout this process. From the moment we shared the script, they have been there for us, and we are immensely grateful for their philosophy and partnership.”

Kaycee Holcomb and Elin Madadian along with Lauren Bixby negotiated the deal for Lionsgate.

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