BAFTA Award winner and Fudge Park co-founder Iain Morris (The Inbetweeners) is directing the comedy The Festival.
Joe Thomas (The Inbetweeners, White Gold) Emmy Award nominee Claudia O’Doherty (Trainwreck, Netflix's Love) and Hammed Animashaun (Channel 4’s Flowers, Netflix’s Black Mirror) have been cast in the lead roles.
The feature film is the first comedy to be greenlit under Fudge Park's four-picture deal with Film4 and EFD which was signed last year. Film4 and EFD have developed and are co-financing the project, with EFD distributing the film in the UK in summer 2018.
Currently in production on location in the UK, The Festival is produced by Claire Jones (Sightseers, Kill List) for Fudge Park. Damon Beesley and Caroline Leddy are executive producing on behalf of Fudge Park. Daniel Battsek and Rachel Springett are executive producing for Film4.
Morris is directing from a screenplay by Keith Akushie and Joe Parham (Siblings).
The supporting cast includes seven-time Emmy Award nominee Jemaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords, Moana), Hannah Tointon (Mr Selfridge, The Hour), Emma Rigby (Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, Prisoners' Wives), Kurt Yaeger (Sons Of Anarchy, NCIS: Los Angeles) and Chris Geere (You're The Worst, Ill Behaviour).
The Festival follows a group of students as they graduate and go to a music festival for the first time. It's a coming of age comedy that finds the gang falling in love with music and mud.
Director Iain Morris said:
"Joe and Keith's script was too funny to ignore. I'm delighted to be making this film with my Inbetweeners partners Film4 and Entertainment. It's great to be working with Joe, Claudia and Jemaine again. And I'm excited for the world to see Hammed's performance. Going to a music festival is a quintessential British rite of passage just like a lads' holiday or backpacking so it seemed like a natural fit for me to try and find the humour and fun in festivals."
Daniel Battsek, Director of Film4, said:
"Film4 are delighted to be working with Fudge Park and Entertainment again for the first time since the phenomenally successful Inbetweeners movies. Although The Festival is an original premise, we’re confident Iain and the rest of the team will produce another very funny and very commercial feature film."
Director Iain Morris previously collaborated with Joe Thomas on the smash hit E4 television series, The Inbetweeners (2008-2010), which he co-created with Damon Beesley and which starred Thomas, Simon Bird, James Buckley and Blake Harrison in the lead roles. The show won the BAFTA YouTube Audience Award in 2010 and was also nominated for a BAFTA TV Award for Best Situation Comedy, with Morris and Beesley nominated twice for Best Writing.
The success of the series led to two films commissioned by Film4, The Inbetweeners Movie and The Inbetweeners 2. Both were distributed in the UK by EFD and shattered box office records at the time of release. The 2nd film, directed by Morris and Beesley, set the record for the biggest opening weekend of 2014 and was the highest grossing British film that year.
Joe Thomas was most recently seen in Fudge Park / BBC Two's series White Gold co-starring Ed Westwick and James Buckley and will reprise his role for season 2, currently in pre-production. He previously starred in Channel 4's comedy series Fresh Meat, starring Jack Whitehall and Kimberley Nixon, which aired for four seasons. He is most well-known for his role as Simon Cooper in The Inbetweeners series and subsequent film adaptations.
Claudia O'Doherty was nominated for an Emmy Award last year for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series for her work on season 4 of Amy Schumer's Comedy Central sketch show Inside Amy Schumer. As an actress, O'Doherty's credits include roles in the worldwide box office hit Trainwreck, directed by Judd Apatow and a series regular role on Apatow's Netflix series Love.
Claudia won the Best Newcomer Award with her first solo show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2010. She was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for her show The Telescope at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Hammed Animashaun is an emerging British actor with extensive experience in theatre. This year, he can be seen in The National Theatre's critically acclaimed Barber Shop Chronicles which returns to the stage in November.
In 2016, he appeared on stage in The National's productions of Amadeus and The Threepenny Opera and Lyric Hammersmith's A Midsummer Night's Dream. He also appeared in the Young Vic's production of Measure For Measure. His film and television credits include Netflix's Black Mirror, BBC Three's Pls Like, Channel 4's Flowers and BBC Films' Borrowed Time.
Morris and seven-time Emmy Award nominee Jemaine Clement previously worked together on the HBO cult series, Flight Of The Conchords, co-created by Clement, Bret McKenzie and James Bobin which aired from 2007-2009. Morris was a contributing writer on the series, which garnered 10 Emmy Award nominations including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Clement.