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PRODUCTION / FUNDING UK / Ireland / Poland

Nathalie Biancheri’s sophomore feature, Wolf, ready for its Toronto premiere

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- Starring George MacKay and Lily-Rose Depp, the movie was the first Irish independent film to shoot during the COVID-19 pandemic once production had safely resumed

Nathalie Biancheri’s sophomore feature, Wolf, ready for its Toronto premiere
Director Nathalie Biancheri (© Romuald Maginot/Les Arcs Film Festival)

Nathalie Biancheri’s sophomore feature, Wolf, is finally ready for its world premiere in the Special Presentations strand of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (9-18 September 2021). Biancheri, an Italian filmmaker based in Dublin, kicked off her career as a documentary researcher for the BBC in London and later worked on several award-winning shorts. Her debut feature, a drama entitled Nocturnal [+see also:
film review
interview: Nathalie Biancheri
film profile
]
, was released in 2019, and starred Lauren Coe and Cosmo Jarvis in the lead roles.

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The story of this new project, penned by the director herself, centres on Jacob, a boy who believes he is a wolf trapped in a human’s body. George MacKay’s Wolf encounters Lily-Rose Depp’s Wildcat in a radical behavioural reform institute. Unlike his teenage peers who progressively “renounce” their animal selves, he gets further and further away from being “cured”. Given the chance to howl, to behave like a wolf, he feels liberated. The only respite to his ever-growing restlessness is Wildcat, a 22-year-old, enigmatic patient with whom he roams the clinic in the dead of night. The two form an improbable friendship that develops into infatuation. Can he renounce his true self, for love? Can he live life repressing who he is? Alongside MacKay and Depp, the main cast includes Paddy Considine, Lola Petticrew, Fionn O’Shea and Eileen Walsh.

Commenting on the Toronto selection, the helmer said: “I could not be prouder to premiere Wolf at TIFF this year. It has been such a long journey, made even more challenging by the pandemic. I’m excited to share the film with the world, and the incredible work of my cast and crew with our first audience at Toronto this September.” Meanwhile, producers Jessie Fisk and Jane Doolan added: “We are honoured to launch Wolf to the world from Toronto this year. We are very thankful to TIFF for giving us this terrific platform, to our distributor, Focus Features, and to sales agent Bankside Films for their support and commitment. We'd also like to thank our partners Screen Ireland, Eurimages and the Polish Film Institute. We are thrilled that the tireless work of our incredible cast and crew is being recognised by one of the world’s most prestigious festivals, and we are so proud that our film is about to begin such an exciting journey.”

Wolf was the first Irish film to shoot during the COVID-19 pandemic once production could safely resume. It was produced by Jessie Fisk for Ireland’s Feline Films and Jane Doolan for the UK’s Mammoth Films, and co-produced by Mariusz Wlodarski and Agnieszka Wasiak for Poland’s Lava Films. The executive producers are Celine Haddad for Screen Ireland, Stephen Kelliher for Bankside Films, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross for Head Gear Films, the Polish Film Institute and Eurimages.

The feature will be released by Focus Features in US cinemas on 3 December and internationally in early 2022. International sales are being handled by Bankside Films, with domestic sales also handled by Bankside Films in collaboration with CAA.

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