The producers of Focus Features’ “Polite Society” have launched their next project with “Lollipop,” the fiction debut feature of Daisy-May Hudson, which stars Posy Sterling, TerriAnn Oudjar and newcomer Idil Ahmed.
The film, which has wrapped after a five-week shoot in London, is the first major title for new sales agent and financier Architect, set up by former Embankment Films executives Calum Gray and Max Pirikis. The company will launch the title at this month’s European Film Market, which runs alongside the Berlin Film Festival.
A BAFTA Breakthrough, Grierson and BIFA-nominated documentary director, Daisy-May Hudson’s previous film was the acclaimed documentary feature “Half Way.”
“Lollipop” follows Molly (Sterling), a young woman who having just been released from prison struggles to regain custody of her children from the state. When she bumps into her childhood friend Amina (Ahmed) the two women soon realize their only chance is to join forces and take destiny into their own hands.
Produced by “Polite Society” producers Cecilia Frugiuele and Olivier Kaempfer of Parkville Pictures (“Appropriate Behaviour,” “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”), “Lollipop” is financed by BBC Film and the BFI.
Architect will look after worldwide sales for the film. The outfit was recently launched by Gray and Pirkis, alongside Patrick Fischer and Richard Kondal of Creativity Capital.
In “Half Way,” Hudson filmed her family’s experiences of living in a homeless hostel over a year in 2013. After successfully raising £10,000 through crowdfunding, she used the funds to make the film – turning 250 hours of raw footage into her feature-length documentary. The film was nominated for a best documentary BIFA and a Grierson British Documentary Award. She was also awarded BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brit award in 2016 for her work. Hudson previously worked as a journalist at VICE where she had her own series commissioned called “Superhuman.”
BAFTA-nominated casting director Lucy Pardee (“Aftersun,” “Rocks”) was responsible for sourcing the non-traditional cast for “Lollipop.”
Pardee says: “I was drawn to working with Daisy-May because she is led by the heart and tells difficult stories with empathy and love. ‘Lollipop’ was a joy to cast. We brought together experienced actors and first timers, many of whom have lived experience of the stories we were telling. Nowhere was the collaboration more joyful than with Posy and Idil. Posy, an experienced actor long overdue the break she deserves, and Idil, a complete first timer, brave enough to step into the opportunity and make it her own.”
Sterling’s theater credits include Clean Break’s productions of “Sweatbox” at the Royal Court and “Belong” at the Arcola Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith; Alexander Zeldin’s production of “Faith, Hope & Charity” and Roisin McBrinn’s “The Taxidermist’s Daughter.” Her previous film credits include Nora Fingscheidt’s “The Outrun,” starring Saoirse Ronan and Stephen Dillane.
Oudjar’s previous film credits include Sacha Polak’s “Silver Haze” and Marc Evans’ “Trauma.” TV credits include BAFTA-winning show “Top Boy,” BBC Two’s “Grass” and BBC Three’s “Killing Time.”
Producers Frugiuele and Kaempfer said of Hudson: “Daisy-May is the kind of voice that comes along rarely. From the moment we saw her beautiful feature doc ‘Half Way,’ we knew this was a special filmmaker. We have been so inspired immersing ourselves in her vision and unique approach to filmmaking, and we can’t wait for audiences to experience this life-affirming and empowering film.”
(Pictured, L-R: Daisy-May Hudson, Posy Sterling)