Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent to star in “Ethel & Ernest”

Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent to star in “Ethel & Ernest”

Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent to star in “Ethel & Ernest”

Toronto (September 14, 2010) – Academy Award winning actor Jim Broadbent (“Iris”) and Brenda Blethyn nominated for two Academy Awards for her powerful performances in “Secret & Lies” and “Little Voice,” are to set to provide the voices of “Ethel & Ernest,” the latest animated feature from one of England’s best loved children’s book authors, Raymond Briggs.  John Coates is set to produce with Camilla Deakin executive producing.  The Little Film Company will handle international sales.
ETHEL & ERNEST is the hilarious and touching story of Raymond Briggs’ parents, two ordinary Londoners living through four decades of extraordinary events and immense social change and their love for each other which sustained 40 years of marriage.
Jim Broadbent, one of England’s most versatile actors who will soon be seen in the upcoming “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part II,” will play Ernest.  Broadbent won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for his supporting role opposite Judi Dench and Kate Winslet as the devoted husband to novelist Iris Murdoch in “Iris.”  Broadbent also earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance in a mini-series for his stoic performance in “Longford,” opposite Samantha Morton about the 7th Earl of Langton and his controversial friendships with convicted felons.  Broadbent’s phenomenal career has spanned over 30 years with over a hundred film and television credits to his name including such classics as “Moulin Rouge,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” and “Gangs of New York,” to name but a few.

Broadbent will reunite with his “Little Voice” co-star Brenda Blethyn, one of Britain’s best loved screen and stage star who has also entertained audiences for the last 30 years.  Blethyn’s long list of remarkable credits include “A River Runs Through It,” “Pride & Prejudice,” “Atonement,” and as the upcoming the voice of Ma Heffalump in A.A. Milne’s “Tigger & Pooh and a Musical Too” animation.

Raymond Briggs is one of the world’s best-selling children’s book authors and illustrators who has touched the hearts of children and adults around the globe with his delightful, heart-warming stories including such classics as “Father Christmas,” and “Fungus the Bogeyman.”   His highly acclaimed graphic novel “When the Wind Blows” was adapted into a feature film in 1986 and was released theatrically in 20 territories worldwide including UK, Germany, USA, Canada and Japan.  The 1982 adaptation of his hugely popular “The Snowman,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short is aired every Christmas on British television and has quickly become an ever-green merchandizing phenomenon to young children worldwide.

ETHEL & ERNEST will be produced by John Coates, who produced Briggs’ first adaptation “The Snowman,” that earned an Oscar nomination for Coates.  One of the most respected animation producers in the business, Coates’ credits include “The Beatles” TV series and the “Yellow Submarine” feature.  Coates has also produced a number of British children’s classics for television including Beatrice Potter’s “The World of Peter Rabbit,” and Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows.”

Hakan Kousetta from specialist entertainment law firm Aslan Charles Kousetta LLP is providing production legal services for TV Cartoons Limited.

The Little Film Company, which continues to build its prestigious line-up, will handle worldwide sales and begin pre-sales with buyers in Toronto.

Celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2010, The Little Film Company is a worldwide motion picture sales and marketing company based in Los Angeles that also finances, executive produces and distributes independent feature films and documentaries.  Most recent successes include the adaptation of Michael Hoffman’s “The Last Station,” which earned Academy Award nominations for its stars Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer; and the Academy Award winning film “Tsotsi,” written and directed by Gavin Hood.  Executive producer credits also include Julie Taymor’s “Titus” with Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange; Anthony Fabian’s award winning South African film “Skin.”  The company most recent productions currently in post-production include Fred Schepisi’s EYE OF THE STORM starring Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis and Charlotte Rampling; and the adaptation of the best-selling South African novel SPUD, starring John Cleese and Troye Sivan in the title role.