Focus Features Acquires Worldwide Rights To Sundance Breakout Brian And Charles

The film is directed by Jim Archer and written by David Earl and Chris Hayward

Focus Features has acquired the worldwide rights to this year’s Sundance breakout Brian and Charles directed by Jim Archer. The film was developed with and is co-funded by Film4 and the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery) and is directed and edited by Archer (who also directed the original short film), written by David Earl and Chris Hayward and produced by Rupert Majendie for Mr Box Productions. It stars David Earl, Chris Hayward, Louise Brealey, James Michie and Nina Sosanya. This marks Archer’s feature directorial debut after cutting his teeth shooting comedy sketches with friends before writing and directing several short films culminating in winning gold at the Young Director Awards in Cannes for the short film version of Brian and Charles. The sale was handled by Bankside Films on behalf of the filmmakers with Joe Toto and Carlen Johnson on behalf of Focus Features.  

The executive producers are Damian Jones (Absolutely Fabulous The Movie, Lady in the Van), Mary Burke for the BFI, and Lauren Dark and Ollie Madden for Film4.  

Brian and Charles follows Brian, a lonely inventor in rural Wales, who spends his days building quirky, unconventional contraptions that seldom work. Undeterred by his lack of success, Brian attempts his biggest project yet. Three days, a washing machine, and various spare parts later, he’s invented Charles, an artificially intelligent robot who learns English from a dictionary and has an obsession with cabbages. What follows is a humorous and entirely heartwarming story about loneliness, friendship, family, finding love, and letting go.

Commented producer Rupert Majendie and director Jim Archer, “We have been so blown away by the reaction to the film from the Sundance audience and also want to say a huge thank you to the amazing teams at Film4, BFI & Bankside. They have all been amazing in their support of this little movie. We are incredibly excited to have found a partner in Focus who truly get this story and are as passionate about it as we are. We are still a little worried that they will wake up and realise they’ve just bought a film about a walking washing machine, but the ink is dry now so it’s too late!”

Focus Features will distribute the film domestically and Universal Pictures will distribute internationally. Film4 will retain free TV rights to the film in the United Kingdom. Archer is represented by Independent Talent Group.