Indie Fulwell73 has partnered with actor Eve Myles’ Empty Room Productions to develop and co-produce a feature film based on the true story of a Welsh community that hosted a drag show to raise vital funds needed to bring their church back from disrepair.
Eve Myles (Keeping Faith, Torchwood, We Hunt Together) is also set to star in the project, whose working title is Dragged to Church, and will co-write the screenplay with award-winning writer Peter Darney (5 Guys Chillin’).
The independent project, that’s billed as being “in a similar vein to Pride, Billy Elliot and Calendar Girls, but with the gumption of Pose”, will be executive produced by Fulwell73’s Leo Pearlman and Heather Greenwood with Adrian Bate & Pip Broughton for Empty Room.
Dragged to Church (working title) is inspired by the true story of two very different communities who came together in Wales to help save their beloved local church in dire need of repair. When the desperate church Reverend contacted local LGBTQ+ Radio presenters and asked as a true last resort for them to help, the result was a Christmas Drag show and concert that ended up embodying the spirit of the festive season and literally raised the roof of the church once again.
Dragged to Church is the latest scripted project announced by Fulwell73. The company is currently in production on motion picture Cinderella starring Camila Cabello, starts shooting CW commissioned series Republic of Sarah in Montreal in the coming months and recently announced it has optioned the rights to Moondial, Helen Cresswell’s children’s time-traveling novel which will be developed into a new TV franchise, scripted by Matt Lopez (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Race To Witch Mountain).
Empty Room Productions was formed in 2019 by Eve Myles, Pip Broughton and Adrian Bate as a sister company to Vox Pictures. The company develops and produces drama, comedy and film with an emphasis on raw, authored work with a Welsh voice.
Leo Pearlman, partner at Fulwell73, said: “This is an incredible and uplifting story of people coming together for a common cause to help one another, no matter who they are or where they come from. We are delighted to be partnering with a talent as exciting as Eve on this original, heart-warming story of acceptance, true community spirit and overcoming hardship through togetherness. In the very best tradition of great British comedy drama, we hope that this movie will connect with audiences far and wide and give everyone a much needed sense of joy and happiness.”
Eve Myles said: “This story came to me after I’d just opened up my production company. I was looking for something that was unique and life changing, that stuck out and after I had a chance meeting with two members of the fundraising community behind this story I knew I’d found the first feature project I was going to make.
“This is a story of two communities that have a history of misconceptions about each other, a history of rebuking each other. This story is not just about the LGBTQ+ community or the religious community, it’s about hope, about coming together against the odds, about human beings getting out of their comfort zones, doing terrifying things, challenging themselves and their thoughts and being better for it. The underlying message is: if someone needs your help, please try and do what you can, even if it’s unconventional and takes you a million miles out of your comfort zone, it’s going to be exhilarating, terrifying. …it might even change your life!
“I also knew this was going to be a really important project for me and that I needed to make it with the right people. Heather [Greenwood] and I have known each other for over 23 years and she and Fulwell got the story right away and share the same passion for this story that I do and I know will work with us to give it the scope, range and respect it deserves.
“This film is funny, it’s sensitive, it’s life affirming and it has an authentic, raw, unapologetic Welsh voice that is not afraid to look and say something different. It’s a classic British film which has all the elements that can move, connect and uplift people. So now our job is to get this film made so we can put it in cinemas all around the world.”
Peter Darney said: “Being a gay Welsh writer, I am so excited to have this opportunity with Eve and the team at Fulwell73 to truthfully represent this world of vibrant LGBTQ+ characters in a film with mainstream appeal, and look at how, when any community understands another, they find that the things they want are never that different.”
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