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Working Title Films, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Producers) since 1992, is Europe’s leading film production company, making movies that defy boundaries as well as demographics. Debra Hayward (Executive Producer) serves as head of film and is creatively responsible for the company’s slate of motion pictures, in conjunction with her U.S. counterpart, Liza Chasin (Executive Producer).
Founded in 1983, Working Title has made over 90 films that have grossed over $4.5 billion worldwide. Its films have won 6 Academy Awards (for Tim Robbins’ Dead Man Walking; Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo; Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age; and Joe Wright’s Atonement), 26 BAFTA Awards, and prestigious prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals.
Mr. Bevan and Mr. Fellner have been honored with two of the highest film awards given to British filmmakers; the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, at the Orange British Academy Film [BAFTA] Awards, and the Alexander Walker Film Award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards. They have also both been honored with CBEs (Commanders of the Order of the British Empire).
In addition to Pirate Radio, their films with Richard Curtis have included The Tall Guy, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bean, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and Love Actually.
In addition to Fargo, their films with the Coen Brothers have included The Hudsucker Proxy; The Big Lebowski; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; The Man Who Wasn’t There; Burn After Reading; and the 2009 release A Serious Man.
In addition to Richard Curtis and the Coen Brothers, Working Title enjoys ongoing and successful creative collaborations with filmmakers Stephen Daldry, Edgar Wright, and Joe Wright; and actors Rowan Atkinson, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, and Emma Thompson, among others.
Its worldwide successes (in addition to those mentioned above) include Stephen Daldry’s Billy Elliot; Steve Bendelack’s Mr. Bean’s Holiday; Sydney Pollack’s The Interpreter; Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice; Kirk Jones’ Nanny McPhee; Paul Greengrass’ United 93; and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
The success of Billy Elliot on film has since been repeated on the London, Sydney, and Broadway stages. Director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter Lee Hall reunited for the stage musical version, with songs composed by Sir Elton John. The hit production, marking Working Title’s debut theatrical venture (co-produced with Old Vic Prods.), continues to play to full houses in London and New York, having garnered nine 2005 Olivier Award nominations, with a win for Best New Musical; and fifteen 2009 Tony Award nominations, winning ten including Best Musical.
The 2009/2010 slate includes Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone, starring Matt Damon; Beeban Kidron’s Hippie Hippie Shake, starring Cillian Murphy, Sienna Miller, Emma Booth, and Max Minghella; Rupert Wyatt’s Birdsong, based on the Sebastian Faulks novel; Greg Mottola’s Paul, written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; and Susanna White’s Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, with Emma Thompson reprising her starring role.