Ben Wheatley’s seventh feature film, Happy New Year, Colin Burstead, will get a BBC2 run after a festival showing following a tie up with BBC Films, BBC Comedy and BBC Two.
The film, produced by Rooks Films, will have its world premiere in a Main Competition slot at this year’s BFI London Film Festival in October (10-21st).
The film centres around Colin Burstead (Neil Maskell) who hires a lavish country manor for his extended family to celebrate New Year. Unfortunately for Colin his position of power in the family is under serious threat from the arrival of his estranged brother David.

The cast includes Wheatley regulars Richard Glover, Peter Ferdinando, Neil Maskell, Mark Monero and Sam Riley along with Asim Chaudhry, Joe Cole, Charles Dance, Alexandra Maria Lara, Doon Mackichan, Sinead Matthews, Bill Paterson and Hayley Squires.
Following LFF, the film will screen around the UK in a limited run of Q&A sessions and festival screenings with Wheatley and the cast and will then have its broadcast premiere on BBC Two over the Christmas holidays and will remain on BBC iPlayer for the following 12 months.
Producer Andy Starke says: “It was an amazing experience making the film with such a talented cast and crew and we are extremely pleased to be able to release the film in a way that makes sense of a very complicated releasing landscape – the BBC is the perfect home for Ben’s state of the nation drama.”
Rose Garnett, Head of BBC Films, says: “When Andy and Ben showed Happy New Year, Colin Burstead to me and Shane Allen (Controller of BBC Comedy) we both fell for it. Funny, acute and very human, it’s a film about families at their worst and best, and a perfect bit of alternative Christmas television. We love that it’s home is the BBC.”
Wheatley is currently writing an extended TV series featuring the same characters for future broadcast.
Acquired by Rose Garnett, Head of BBC Films, Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy and Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two.
UK sales agents Goalpost Film have also come on board and are representing the film internationally, presenting it to buyers at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival.

Jon Creamer

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