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Bleecker Street And Participant Media Co-Acquire N. American Distribution Rights To ‘Breathe’

Toronto / New York, NY – (September 10, 2016) – Bleecker Street and Participant Media announced today they have jointly acquired North American rights to BREATHE, directed by Andy Serkis.  Written by twice Academy Award nominated William Nicholson (GLADIATOR, SHADOWLANDS), and shot by legendary, three-time Academy Award winner Robert Richardson (THE AVIATOR, JFK, HUGO) the film tells the inspirational, life-affirming true-life story of Robin Cavendish (played by Andrew Garfield -SPIDERMAN, HACKSAW RIDGE, SILENCE), a handsome, brilliant and adventurous man whose life takes a dramatic turn when polio leaves him almost totally paralyzed.  Claire Foy (star of Netflix’ new £100m flagship series THE CROWN) plays Robin’s devoted and determined wife, Diana.  Together they refuse to be imprisoned by suffering, travelling the world and transforming the lives of others with their humor, courage and lust for life. Hugh Bonneville (DOWNTON ABBEY, PADDINGTON) plays their family friend, the inventor Professor Teddy Hall.  Tom Hollander (M.I. ROGUE NATION, THE NIGHT MANAGER) plays both David and Bloggs Blacker – Diana’s identical twin brothers.

Andy Serkis stated, “Breathe is an important film for us at The Imaginarium. Our company has all aspects of great performance at the centre of everything we do, and Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy give extraordinary performances in our film. We are thrilled that Bleecker Street and Participant Media share our enthusiasm and excitement for BREATHE, and we are confident that they are the right theatrical partners for us in North America.”

Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street stated, “We were so moved by William’s script and the powerful and inspirational story of Robin and Diana’s lives.  We are really excited to be working with Andy, Imaginarium and Embankment on such a joyous and beautiful story.” 

Participant Media’s Jonathan King, EVP Narrative Film, said “Andy is an exciting and innovative filmmaker and we have been looking forward to working with him for years.  We are especially grateful to Jonathan Cavendish for letting us be a part of bringing his family’s inspirational story to the screen.”

The film is produced by Jonathan Cavendish (BRIDGET JONES DIARY) for The Imaginarium Studios. Financing is from Silver Reel, BBC Films and the BFI, brokered by Embankment Films.

Phil Robertson executive produces for The Imaginarium, Claudia Blüemhuber and Ian Hutchinson for Silver Reel and Christine Langan for BBC Films.

At Toronto, Bleecker Street and Participant Media will celebrate the world premiere of DENIAL, from director Mick Jackson, starring Academy Award®-winner Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, and Timothy Spall.

The acquisition was negotiated by Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street, Jonathan King and Gabriel Brakin for Participant Media, and Embankment’s Tim Haslam on behalf of Imaginarium. Embankment also represents international rights where the film is pre-sold to over 30 territories.


About Bleecker Street

Bleecker Street (bleeckerstreetmedia.com) is an independently financed U.S. film distribution company founded in 2014 by Andrew Karpen. The studio specializes in smart and inviting entertainment appealing to discerning audiences nationwide. Its recent releases include the hit thriller, EYE IN THE SKY, starring Helen Mirren, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC with Viggo Mortensen, and the Academy Award nominated, TRUMBO. 


About Participant Media

Participant Media (http://www.participantmedia.com/) is a leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires and compels social change. Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for viewers to get involved. Participant’s more than 75 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc., and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 50 Academy Award® nominations and 11 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight. Participant’s digital hub, TakePart (http://www.TakePart.com), serves millions of socially conscious consumers each month with daily articles, videos and opportunities to take action. Follow Participant Media on Twitter at @Participant and on Facebook.


About The Imaginarium Studios

The Imaginarium (http://imaginariumuk.com), founded by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish is Europe’s leading Performance Capture studio and production company, combining the latest technology with the highest standards of execution to create the ultimate next generation storytelling capability in film, television, video games and digital applications. Alongside BREATHE they are currently in post on Warner Bros.’ JUNGLE BOOK and in prep on David Bruckner’s The RITUAL. Imaginarium is also prepping a new big screen adaptation of George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM, written by Mark Burton (MADAGASCAR, SHAUN THE SHEEP).


About Embankment Films

Embankment Films (http://embankmentfilms.com), founded by Tim Haslam and Hugo Grumbar is a leading financing packager and broker of feature films.  Based in London the Embankment team provide individually tailored financing solutions from IP origination and script through to production and worldwide distribution.  Tim and Hugo career roster of over 300 new feature films (and amalgamated library management of over 1000 titles) that have garnered over 65 Academy Awards and Nominations.  Management compliment the company with diverse specialist skills procuring pre-sales, tax-credits, co-production financing, Gap and mezzanine facilities, enabling filmmakers to manage their “owned” film assets.  Senior management are fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan.  Current films in production include SUBMERGENCE starring Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy, PLEASE STAND BY starring Dakota Fanning and Toni Collette, CHURCHILL starring Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson, and THE WIFE starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce.



For Bleecker Street:

RJ Millard / rj@obscuredpictures.com



For Participant Media:

Ileen Reich / ireich@participant.com

Alice Zou / azou@participant.com