- Monday, Jul. 13, 2015
AMBI Group principals Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi are teaming with Christine Alderson and her Ipso Facto production banner to finance and produce Simon Aboud’s “This Beautiful Fantastic,” starring Jessica Brown Findlay (“Downton Abbey,” “Winter’s Tale”), two-time Oscar® nominee Tom Wilkinson (“In the Bedroom,” “Michael Clayton,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” “Belle”), Andrew Scott (“Pride,” the upcoming James Bond installment “Spectre”), Jeremy Irvine (“War Horse,” “Now is Good,” “The Railway Man”), Anna Chancellor (“What a Girl Wants,” “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” ) and Sheila Hancock (“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” “3 Men and a Little Lady”).
“This Beautiful Fantastic” is a contemporary fairy tale revolving around the most unlikely of friendships between a reclusive young woman with dreams of being a children’s book author and a cantankerous widower, set against the backdrop of a beautiful garden in the heart of London.
Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay) is a beautifully quirky young woman who dreams of writing and illustrating a successful children’s book. Despite her abandonment as a child, her OCD, her awful boss at the library, and her paralyzing fear of flora and fauna, Bella is down but not out.
When she is forced by her landlord to deal with her neglected garden or face eviction, she meets her nemesis, match and mentor in Alfie Stephenson (Wilkinson), a grumpy, loveless, rich old man who lives next door and happens to be an amazing horticulturalist.
Principal photography starts this week in London. AMBI will oversee global distribution of the film through its international sales division, AMBI Distribution. Medinah, cashflow the UK tax credit and Head Gear, LipSync Post, The Project post and private investment complete the financing. Kami Nagdi’s Constance Media was previously involved in the script development.
Said Aboud, “this beautiful fantastic has been an epic journey from its first appearance high on the Brit List. iI’s a wonderful quintessentially British film full of quirky characters all fighting to live life their own way in a homogenous world which is strangely very much like the script’s own journey to principal photography. In Ambi we have found the perfect partners who shared our vision.” “
Said Iervolino, “Simon has crafted a heartfelt story that we are excited to produce with Christine. With a fusion of comedy and drama that will balance poignant moments with humour and charm, ‘This Beautiful Fantastic’ has strong commercial appeal, with a primary focus on an older demographic that has been a boon to theaters and the cinema industry on the whole. The film will really resonate amongst this target market, which desires quality material.”
Added Monika Bacardi, “We see serious potential for a real breakthrough hit with ‘This Beautiful Fantastic,’ especially amongst female audiences. Bella’s journey will resonate with girls who, like Bella, are experiencing the transition from adolescent to adult, trying to make their way in the world, and to become happy and successful. This is British intelligent character driven filmmaking at its best.”
Added Christine Alderson “At its heart, this is a story of an unlikely but magical friendship. ‘This Beautiful Fantastic’ is one of those rare scripts - a unique story with a beautiful voice that will blossom into a true cinematic gem. It is a deceptively layered piece - an adult fairy tale, a romantic story of blossoming love and a coming-of-age comedy.”
Simon Aboud’s script appeared on The Brit List 2009, a list of the best un-produced screenplays. His ultra low budget first feature Comes a Bright Day starred Craig Roberts, Imogen Poots, Kevin McKIdd and Timothy Spall premiered as part of the Generations competition Berlin 2012 and was distributed by Soda/Sony in the UK and Strand US and was sold by Intandem internationally. Simon’s background is in commercials. He is married to Mary McCartney.
AMBI Group is a consortium of vertically integrated film development, production, finance and distribution companies wholly owned and operated by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Gomez del Campo Bacardi, Lady of Bayfield Hall, better known as “Monika Bacardi.”
From offices in Toronto, Beverly Hills and Europe, AMBI is dedicated to making and delivering high-end, commercial movies for global audiences. With a mandate to serve as a top-tier supplier of mainstream projects for both the studios and major independent distributors worldwide, AMBI pursues top Hollywood talent and international stars and produces six to eight feature films a year.
AMBI’s burgeoning film slate includes a recently announced homage to Federico Fellini’s classic film “La Dolce Vita”; James Franco’s “In Dubious Battle,” featuring an ensemble cast that includes Franco, Nat Wolff, Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston, Josh Hutcherson, Zach Braff, Analeigh Tipton, Ashley Greene, Ahna O’Reilly, John Savage and Sam Shepherd; the 3D CGI family animated film “Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad,” featuring the voices of John Cleese, Alec Baldwin, James Franco, Angelica Huston and Heidi Klum; the sci-fi thriller “Rupture” starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis and Peter Stormare, which is produced by “American Sniper” producer Andrew Lazar; the psychological thriller “Lavender” starring Abbie Cornish and Dermot Mulroney; the romantic comedy “All Roads Lead to Rome,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker; Barry Levinson’s acclaimed drama “The Humbling,” starring Al Pacino; the sci-fi action thriller “Andron: The Black Labyrinth,” starring Alec Baldwin and Danny Glover; an English language remake to Arto Halonen’s award winning Finnish feature “Princess;” the thriller “Hope Lost,” starring Danny Trejo, Mischa Barton and Michael Madsen; and the action-thriller “2047 - Sights of Death.”
Andrea Iervolino has produced, funded and distributed over 50 feature films including “The Merchant of Venice, “The Humbling” and “All Roads Lead to Rome,” to name just a few. He is considered one of the youngest and most accomplished entrepreneurs in the Italian film industry.
Iervolino was the recipient of the coveted Mimmo Rotella Award for his contributions to the Italian cinema industry. The award was presented to him at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, alongside fellow recipients Al Pacino and Barry Levinson. Iervolino most recently received the Honor of Recognition as Ambassador of Italian Cinema in the World at annual Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF).
Lady Monika Bacardi is the widow of Luis Adalberto Facundo Gomez del Campo Bacardi, Lord of Bayfield Hall, known as Lord Luis Bacardi (descendent of the Bacardi founder, still a family-run company). Renowned for her passion of modern art and love of photography and movies, Monika Bacardi is a highly successful businesswoman who is now committed to producing films, through AMBI, on top of her numerous philanthropic activities.
AMBI Group is active in the distribution of various movie projects in Italy and throughout the world through its satellite company AI Entertainment, a company Iervolino founded in 2011. Iervolino still runs this operation as well as several movie production and distribution companies in Italy, Spain and Canada.
Ipso Facto PRODUCTIONS
Christine Alderson’s production company Ipso Facto produced Andrew Hulme’s debut SNOW IN PARADISE which premiered Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014. Previous productions include Mads Mikkellson in VALHALLA RISING from director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) which premiered Venice / Toronto, Northern Soul feature SOULBOY (Martin Compston, Felicity Jones, Alfie Allen). Berlin hit IRINA PALM starring Marianne Faithfull, Venice premiered NASTY NEIGHBOURS the debut feature of Debbie Isitt and Simon Aboud’s Berlin Generation premiere COMES A BRIGHT DAY. She is also currently in production on THE BANKSY JOB a feature doc about street art theft.