What if a random text message led to the love of your life? In this romantic comedy, dealing with the loss of her fiancé, Mira Ray sends a series of romantic texts to his old cell phone number…not realizing the number was reassigned to Rob Burns’ new work phone. A journalist, Rob is captivated by the honesty in the beautifully confessional texts. When he’s assigned to write a profile of megastar Celine Dion (playing herself in her first film role), he enlists her help in figuring out how to meet Mira in person…and win her heart.
What if a random text message led to the love of your life? In this romantic comedy, dealing with the loss of her fiancé, Mira Ray sends a series of romantic texts to his old cell not realizing the number was reassigned to Rob Burns’ new work phone. A journalist, Rob is captivated by the honesty in the beautifully confessional texts. When he’s assigned to write a profile of megastar Celine Dion (playing herself in her first film role), he enlists her help in figuring out how to meet Mira in person…and win her heart.
Screen Gems presents in association with 2.0 Entertainment, a Thunder Road Films production, Love Again. Starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan, and Celine Dion as Celine Dion, and featuring multiple new songs from Dion. Written for the screen and directed by Jim Strouse. Produced by Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, and Esther Hornstein. The executive producers are Doug Belgrad, Sophie Cassidy, Louise Killin, Jonathan Fuhrman, and Celine Dion. The director of photography is Andrew Dunn BSC. The production designer is Rebecca Milton. The editor is Jesse Gordon. The costume designer is Annie Symons. Music by Keegan DeWitt.
The film will be releasing around the world from May 10, 2023.
“I love love stories,” says writer-director Jim Strouse, who takes the helm of Love Again. “Love is always relevant, and this story has a really great twist on it – in that for better and worse, phones are a huge part of our daily lives and how we communicate with each other.”
“This felt like a fantastic opportunity to tell a classic, romantic story that was hugely relevant,” says producer Erica Lee. “I loved the idea that for these characters, these text messages sent into the ether become the magical thing that brings them together.”
“And when they need a little help,” adds producer Basil Iwanyk, “who better than Celine Dion – who knows something about how to express love – to point them in the right direction?”
“It feels to me like the classic romcoms that you just don’t see anymore,” says producer Esther Hornstein. “Two heartbroken people in New York City – with different reasons for their heartbreak – find their way to each other, one knowingly, the other unknowingly. It has a lot of heart and very real characters, anchored by an incredible, layered, and strong female lead.”
In Love Again, Mira Ray – a talented children’s book author and illustrator – deals with the loss of her fiancé by sending a series of romantic texts to his old cell phone number.
“These texts are her way of letting go of her past and embracing her future,” says Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who plays Mira. “That’s scary, because change is scary.”
What Mira doesn’t know is that those texts are being received by Rob Burns, whose new work phone has inherited that old number. Rob, a music journalist, is skeptical about love – it comes with the territory when you are left at the altar. He is struck by the emotional honesty of the texts, which begin just as he is trying to wrap his cynical mind around the heartfelt, emotional music of Celine Dion for a profile he’s been assigned. He finds that the legendary singer just might hold the key to all the answers he’s been looking for.
The filmmakers built the film around the pairing of Chopra Jonas, an international superstar who has commanded screens around the world, as Mira, and Sam Heughan, whose performance on “Outlander” has inspired a generation of fans, as Rob.
“Priyanka has such a powerful presence,” says Strouse. “She’s the beating heart and soul of this film. You really feel what she feels.”
“Priyanka was one of the first people to read the script about two years ago,” says Hornstein. “She’s such a strong person, and she made sure that her character wasn’t passive – that she’s in charge of her own life, figuring things out and doing it her own way. Priyanka also put such care to actually making sure that her character doesn’t feel like a stereotype, which is doubly important because I’m told that Love Again is the first global feature with an Indian woman in the lead role.”
“Mira is a very gentle character,” says Chopra Jonas. “I’ve played some very tough characters, so I was looking forward to tapping into my vulnerable side, reaching into the deep places in the heart. I’m a Cancer and a massive romantic – I really do believe in love and goodness. As cheesy as it might sound, it makes the world go around.”
Chopra Jonas says that even though the character is more vulnerable than the characters she played in “Quantico” or The Matrix Resurrections, she still chose to play the role as a woman with agency over her own future. “Mira has such a deep loss that it’s changed who she is, and she has to find herself and come out of her shell with the help of these people around her.”
“Every one of us has experienced grief. People leave your life, but life doesn’t stop,” Chopra Jonas continues. “This film is a beautiful tale of hope and positivity and joy and love.”
That gentleness – an ease of being around another person – is what makes the relationship with Rob a magical match, she says. “She tries a couple of dates, and they’re disastrous. She’s making the effort, but it’s uncomfortable. With Rob, it’s just easy. I really believe that about relationships that stand the test of time: they’re a comfortable, simple love, and that’s the kind of love that brings Rob and Mira together.”
In a cameo role as her disastrous first date – a swipe-right that should have been a swipe-left – is Chopra Jonas’s husband, Nick Jonas. “We’ve done a few things before here and there, but never a full scene,” he says. “It was a great, new experience for us.”
As fun as it is to see the real-life couple have an epic fail on their movie date, it is Sam Heughan who is paired as the romantic lead. “Sam is so thoughtful about everything,” says Hornstein. “Sam made him a complicated guy – not your average romantic comedy prince who’s there to save her.”
“He’s a Scotsman who’s been living in New York for so long that he’d call himself a New Yorker,” says Heughan. “He’s a music journalist who’s still pretty depressed about being left at the altar a year earlier. Then Mira comes into his life and changes everything.”
For Heughan, preparing to play the lead in a romantic comedy wasn’t just getting ready for a role – it was opening up a whole world of film. “I started watching lots of romantic comedies, which I’d avoided over the years because I thought they weren’t for me. But as soon as I started to watch them, I fell in love with them,” he says. “They’re brilliant, they’re adult, they’re funny, they’re dark – it was a revelation to me. And I think this movie is an homage or nod to that tradition.”
Preparation also was a chance for the actor to walk in the shoes of a music snob who gets his comeuppance in the form of the Queen of Power Ballads. “It was a fun movie to prep for,” he says. “Jim sent me a playlist of very contemporary music – and it was pretty challenging music, because Rob is a bit of an academic. He’s a cynic, a critical music snob who falls for the music of Celine Dion. At first, he only hears these songs on the surface – he thinks they’re overly embellished, overly romantic. But it turns out there’s truth to them. These songs really move him when he opens himself up to them. That’s a really nice journey to go on with the character.”
Russell Tovey, well-known for his role as the werewolf George Sands on the BBC’s “Being Human,” reteams with his “Quantico” co-star Priyanka Chopra Jonas for Love Again.
Tovey says that simply living his life helped him prepare for the role – “I’ve spent a lot of time in New York and I’ve met a lot of people like Billy,” he says – but so did finding the character through costume. “He’s eccentric, but I also got the sense that he was a trust fund kid with money, preppy, someone who cares about his appearance and spends money on clothes,” he continues. “With the costume designer, we tried to find a united movement between the costume and the character. Smart casual, but with an eccentric, jaunty wink. Bowties and fabric ties. Expensive, but also a slightly tryhard. I think we achieved that.”
As Mira’s sister, Suzy, the filmmakers cast Sofia Barclay. “Sofia Barclay wasn’t on our radar at all, and her tape blew us away,” says Hornstein. “She has an incredible sisterly and fun energy that meshes so well with Priyanka.”
“Suzy is a bundle of energy, a really magnetic person,” says Barclay. “I loved being able to play this fully supportive, fun, sisterly role, who’s able to show her love for her sister in so many different ways and always be there to push her – sometimes in the right direction, sometimes wrong, but always with love.”
Actress Lydia West plays Lisa, another of Rob’s friends. “Lisa is very boho chic – cool, crisp, and collected,” says West. “She’s very wise for her age, with a certain wisdom and savvy that Rob and Billy don’t have. She’s quite cynical towards love at the start, and I think she pities Rob slightly, feeling that he needs to get over his ex. So the prospect of Mira is very positive for Lisa, and she encourages him to be honest with her. But obviously, he doesn’t listen.”
But perhaps the biggest casting coup for the filmmakers was in landing Celine Dion to play the role of Celine Dion in the songstress’s first big-screen acting role.
“The German film has a larger-than-life character,” notes Strouse, referencing the character played by renowned German actress Katja Riemann. “She’s just wonderful in that film, singing these emotional, over-the-top love songs. As we approached the adaptation, I wanted to find a real artist to embody that character. When I thought about Celine’s songs – the content of them and then Celine the person – it was so perfect, because this is a film about overcoming loss and the power of love. She was the first and only choice.”
It's not so easy to get the attention of a superstar. Hornstein gives credit to Screen Gems executive Scott Strauss for landing Dion – and to the part written for the superstar by Strouse. “Jim wrote an incredible character for Celine as the ultimate matchmaker – not just for romance, but also for soul and philosophy,” says Hornstein. “I think that makes it a character that is also very true to what Celine is really like.”
Dion’s involvement in the movie brought an infectious joy to the entire cast and crew. “It was so much fun,” says Hornstein. “We’d play a little bit of one of her songs for a scene, and then all day, we’d all be sitting at the monitors singing Celine. For one scene, Rob is in the shower, so excited about life that he’s singing ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’ – and when Sam would come off the set, he’d still be singing – a sing-along party all day long.”
"I had a lot of fun doing this movie,” says Dion. “And to have the privilege of appearing with the beautiful and talented actors Priyanka Chopra and Sam Heughan in my very first feature film is a privilege that I will cherish forever. I think it's a wonderful feel-good story, and I hope that people will like it, and like the new songs too.”
“I thought it was a great opportunity to play with my persona,” Dion adds. “I have performed so many songs about love that it seemed natural that I should play a character who is very wise in the ways of the heart. What a thrill to be able to bring that to life on screen.”
The production filmed in London, which doubled for New York. “It’s not the first time we’ve filmed London for New York,” says Hornstein. “There are a lot of New York-looking areas in London, with similar architecture, parks, and greens. Also, because a lot of the movie is shot in interiors, our production designer Rebecca Milton was able to give a lot of attention to the details, so everything she created had a real New York vibe. It also helps that our director lives in Brooklyn and knows New York like the back of his hand.”
Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Mira) is a multi-faceted talent, and one of the most recognized personalities in the world.
She is the recipient of numerous awards as an actor and producer, with more than sixty international and Hollywood films to her credit, and in February 2021 became a New York Times Best Selling Author with her memoir Unfinished. She will next play the female lead in “Citadel” (Fall 2023) alongside Richard Madden, a series by the Russo Brothers for Amazon Studios. Most recently, Chopra Jonas starred in Netflix’s Academy Award® nominated feature The White Tiger, which she also executive produced. Under her production banner Purple Pebble Pictures, Chopra Jonas is partnered with Amazon Studios on a first-look TV deal, where she will develop a slate of global features and TV content for the streamer. Purple Pebble Pictures is also partnered with ViacomCBS to create original content focused on diversity and inclusion for its entertainment and youth channels. Chopra Jonas is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and serves on the Executive Committee of the Actors Branch. She is also a member if the Producers Guild of America.
Chopra Jonas made history as the first Indian-born actor to lead an American network TV series when she starred in the ABC dramatic series “Quantico,” winning two People’s Choice awards for her work. The Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors, was conferred on her in 2016. She was featured on the cover of Time magazine’s “Time 100” issue, in which she was named one of the most influential people in the world, and has been recognized as one of Forbes’ most powerful women.
Chopra Jonas is a global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and recipient of the prestigious Danny Kaye Humanitarian award. She is also a Global Citizen ambassador, and is involved in a number of efforts to protect children’s rights and to promote the education of girls around the world.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Nick, their daughter, and Diana, Gino, and Panda, their three dogs.
Born in Scotland, actor Sam Heughan (Rob) has been making his mark in film, television, and the theater.
Heughan is best known for his role as actor and producer, playing Jamie Fraser in the hit Starz series “Outlander.” The show recently finished airing its sixth season with its seventh season in the works.
Since starring in “Outlander,” Heughan has received numerous nominations, including BAFTA Scotland Best Actor and Critics’ Choice Best Actor. He has also won many fan-generated accolades, including People’s Choice Award, Entertainment Weekly’s EW Best Actor – Drama, and Radio Times TV Champion.
Heughan is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. In 2003, he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performance for his role in “Outlaying Islands” by David Greig at The Royal Court and Traverse Theatre. While at the Royal Scottish Academy, Heughan also starred in the productions of “Crime & Punishment,” “The Seagull,” and “Prometheus Bound.”
On stage, Heughan has performed at a variety of theaters in the U.K. in various classical and new writing pieces, plus the London West End, including such productions as “King John,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Vortex,” “Hamlet,” “Macbeth,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” and “Plague over England,” amongst others.
In 2011, Heughan originated the role of Batman in the DC / Warner Bros. and Waterlane production of “Batman Live,” an international tour which opened at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and went on to tour Las Vegas, South America, and throughout the U.K and Europe.
Heughan has had roles in a range of television series including “River City,” “Island at War,” “The Wild West,” “Party Animals,” “Midsomer Murders,” “Rebus,” “Any Human Heart,” and most recently “Suspect.” His TV movie credits include “Breaking the Mould” for BBC Television, “A Very British Sex Scandal” for Channel 4, and “First Light” for BBC2, an adaptation of the book, where he played the lead character Geoffrey Wellum. He was nominated for a Grace Award for his performance as Prince Ashton, the son of Sir Roger Moore, in “A Princess for Christmas” for Hallmark Channel. His other credits include “Young Alexander the Great,” “Emulsion,” “Heart of Lightness,” and “When the Starlight Ends,” an independent movie shot in Los Angeles.
Last year, Heughan could be seen in the films “To Olivia” and “SAS: Red Notice,” alongside Ruby Rose and Andy Serkis. Heughan also recently starred alongside Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon in the Lionsgate film The Spy Who Dumped Me and the action comic book movie Bloodshot with Vin Diesel.
Outside of acting, Heughan has quite a few passion projects. In 2020, he released his own whiskey, The Sassenach, which has been highly awarded, including Double Gold at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirit Competition. Last year, Heughan partnered with El Tequileño Master Distiller Antonio Salles to create El Tequileño “The Sassenach Select,” a small batch, limited-edition aged tequila, which immediately sold out on its first release.
In 2020, Heughan released his first book, Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other, alongside “Outlander” cast member Graham McTavish. Clanlands reached #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list. In 2021, to coincide with the book, Heughan then created and executive produced his first television series, “Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and Graham,” from “Outlander” producers Sony Pictures Television and Starz. Heughan and McTavish then followed with a second New York Times Bestseller, Clanlands Almanac: Seasonal Stories from Scotland. Both projects celebrate the history, culture and beauty of their home country, Scotland. Heughan recently released his third book, Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, which is a memoir recounting his life and reflecting on the waypoints that define him. The book reached Number 4 on the New York Times Bestsellers list and Number 3 on the Sunday Times Bestsellers list.
Additionally, Heughan created My Peak Challenge, a wellness brand that promotes a healthy lifestyle - whilst raising money for charity. The brand has already over 10,000 subscribers, an online international community and raised millions of dollars for the leukemia and lymphoma charity, Bloodwise.
Vocal powerhouse Celine Dion (Herself) is one of the most immediately recognized, widely respected, and successful performers in pop music history. She won numerous awards by the age of 18, dominated the pop charts in 1990s, and has sold over 250 million albums during her 40-year career. She has earned five Grammy Awards, two Academy Awards®, seven American Music Awards, 20 Juno Awards (Canada), and an astonishing 40 Félix Awards (Quebec). She remains one of the most sought-after recording artists, receiving the Diamond award at the 2004 World Music Awards, recognizing her status as the best-selling female artist of all time. In 2016, the Billboard Music Awards presented her with the lifetime achievement Icon Award. Dion continued to break records with her Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, which has played over 1,100 shows to more than 4.5 million fans. She also topped the US Dance Club charts in July 2018 with the remix of her single “Ashes” from Deadpool 2. On June 8, 2019, Celine Dion’s iconic 16-year Las Vegas residency came to an end. The much-anticipated Courage World Tour kicked-off three months later, on September 18, in Dion’s home province of Quebec. On November 15th, 2019, Dion released her first English album in 6 years – “Courage,” an eclectic album representing Dion’s new artistic direction. The album includes the hits “Imperfections,” “Lying Down,” and “Courage,” all released on the same day that her massive world tour was launched.
Jim Strouse (Director / Screenplay) is an award-winning writer and director whose Sundance Film Festival debut, Grace Is Gone (2007), starring John Cusack, received the Audience Award for Most Popular Dramatic feature, as well as the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. In 2015, Strouse wrote and directed another Sundance favorite, People Places Things, starring Regina Hall, Jemaine Clement, and Jessica Williams. The film premiered to love letter reviews. Strouse is also known for The Hollars, which he wrote and executive produced. The film, directed by John Krasinski, was released by Sony Pictures Classics in August 2016 and stars John Krasinski, Anna Kendrick, Charlie Day, Richard Jenkins, Randall Park, and Margo Martindale. In 2017, Strouse wrote and directed The Incredible Jessica James, starring Jessica Williams, Lakeith Stanfield, Chris O’Dowd, and Noel Wells. The film premiered at Sundance to rave reviews and was sold to Netflix in a competitive market.
Strouse is currently writing and executive producing the family-approved Jim Valvano biopic for Basil Iwanyk and Marc Ciardi’s Game1. Ray Romano is attached to star and produce. Valvano is famously known for his 1993 ESPY speech recounting his battle with cancer. The feature is based on the acclaimed ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Survive and Advance.” ESPN and Disney are very excited about the project.
Basil Iwanyk (Producer) is the founder of Thunder Road Pictures, one of the most prolific and respected independent film companies in Hollywood. Founded in 2003, Thunder Road’s films have been nominated for Academy Awards®, Golden Globes, Producers Guild Awards, Writers Guild Awards, Directors Guild Awards, and AFI Awards, as well as have appeared at Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, and Berlin Film Festivals. Thunder Road’s films have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion worldwide.
Thunder Road is best known as the producers of the John Wick franchise, including the first three films in the franchise as well as the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4. Iwanyk also recently wrapped production on Ballerina, a film spinoff starring Ana de Armas, directed by Len Wiseman; and is in post-production on a TV spinoff series, “The Continental.”
Other notable films include The Town, directed by and starring Ben Affleck; the critically-acclaimed drama Sicario, directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, and Josh Brolin, as well as its sequel, Sicario: Day of the Soldado; Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner; and the Oscar®-winning A Star Is Born, directed by and starring Bradley Cooper opposite Lady Gaga.
Most recently, Iwanyk produced Tarik Saleh’s black op thriller The Contractor, starring Chris Pine and Ben Foster; the Halle Berry-helmed Bruised, at Netflix; the football drama National Champions, starring Stephan James, J.K. Simmons, and Uzo Aduba; Ric Waugh’s disaster epic Greenland, starring Gerard Butler; and Neil Burger’s sci-fi thriller Voyagers, starring Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, and Lily-Rose Depp.
Up next, Iwanyk has David Mackenzie’s Relay, starring Riz Ahmed and Lily James; and Bryan Fuller’s Dust Bunny, starring Mads Mikkelsen. Thunder Road is currently in post-production on Dev Patel’s directorial debut, the stylized revenge thriller Monkey Man; John Woo’s heralded US action film return Silent Night, starring Joel Kinnaman; Stefon Bristol’s sophomore film Breathe, starring Jennifer Hudson and Milla Jovovich; the Ric Waugh and Gerard Butler action epic Kanahar; and Netflix’s Mouly Surya-directed modern western Trigger Warning, starring Jessica Alba.
Additionally, Iwanyk and Thunder Road have produced the epic Clash of the Titans, and its sequel, Wrath of the Titans; four installments of The Expendables franchise; Brooklyn’s Finest; We Are Marshall; The Current War; A Private War; Hotel Mumbai; and The Informer.
Born in New York City, Erica Lee (Producer) graduated with honors from Florida State University with a degree in communications and immediately entered the entertainment industry with an internship at NBC Studios in Burbank. Following her internship, she began working at Creative Artists Agency as an assistant in the talent department. A fifteen-year veteran of Thunder Road, Lee started as the assistant to chairman Basil Iwanyk. Now president of Production, she has produced some of the company’s most successful films, including all three installments of the John Wick franchise, Taylor Sheridan’s chilling Wind River, the critically acclaimed Sicario, directed by Oscar® nominee Denis Villeneuve, starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, and the Stefano Sollima-directed sequel, Sicario: Day of the Soldado.
Lee has also shepherded development on such titles as A Star is Born, We Are Marshall, Brooklyn’s Finest, The Town, The Expendables franchise, Clash of the Titans and its sequel, Wrath of the Titans, and served as co-producer on Universal Pictures’ Seventh Son, directed by Oscar® nominee Sergei Bodrov, starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, Oscar® nominee Matthew Heineman’s gripping narrative debut A Private War, Andrea Di Stefano’s The Informer, starring Rosamund Pike and Joel Kinnaman, and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon. Most recently, Lee produced Ric Roman Waugh’s white-knuckle disaster thriller Greenland, starring Gerard Butler. Her other recent titles include Halle Berry’s hard-hitting directorial debut Bruised, and Tarik Saleh’s black op thriller The Contractor, starring Chris Pine. Lee is currently in post-production on the fourth installment of John Wick, which reunites Keanu Reeves with director Chad Stahelski, as well as Mouly Surya’s Trigger Warning, starring Jessica Alba; John Woo’s heralded US action film return Silent Night, starring Joel Kinnaman, Stefon Bristol’s sophomore film Breathe, starring Jennifer Hudson and Milla Jovovich; Ric Waugh’s Kandahar, starring Gerard Butler, and Dev Patel’s directorial debut with the revenge thriller Monkey Man. Lee is also working on projects expanding the world of John Wick, including the limited series “The Continental” and the first feature spinoff, Ballerina, starring Ana De Armas, which recently wrapped production.
Esther Hornstein (Producer) is the Senior Vice President of Production & Development at Basil Iwanyk & Erica Lee’s Thunder Road Films. Since joining Thunder Road in 2017, Hornstein has worked on a number of film and television projects, most notably Mouly Surya’s English language debut Trigger Warning, a modern western starring Jessica Alba for Netflix which will be released in 2024; Tarik Saleh’s black-ops thriller The Contractor, starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Eddie Marsan, and Gillian Jacobs, which Paramount released on April 1st; and Neil Burger’s sci-fi thriller Voyagers, starring Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, Fionn Whitehead, and Lily-Rose Depp, which was released by Lionsgate in April 2020.
Hornstein also helped oversee a number of projects, including Ric Waugh’s epic disaster actioner Greenland, starring Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin for STX, Halle Berry’s directorial debut Bruised, which sold to Netflix at TIFF 2020, and Ric Waugh’s upcoming film Kandahar for STX, which Open Road is releasing in May. Hornstein is currently in post-production on Stefon Bristol’s sophomore feature Brathe, starring Jennifer Hudson, Milla Jovovich, Sam Worthington, Common, Raul Castillo and Quevenzhene Wallis.
Prior to joining Thunder Road, Hornstein was the creative executive at Ariel Vromen’s Sumatra Films, where she spearheaded the Netflix spy thriller The Angel, directed by Ariel Vromen and starring Marwan Kenzari & Toby Kebbell, and the non-stop action thriller Criminal for Lionsgate, starring Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, and Gal Gadot.
Hornstein attended the University of Vermont where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Economics, and later earned a Master’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles in Screenwriting. She began her entertainment career as an assistant at Millennium Films.
British Cinematographer Andrew Dunn BSC (Director of Photography) is the winner of multiple BAFTA Awards. His body of work includes nearly sixty feature-length films, in addition twenty-five film dramas for television.
Dunn's professional film career began at the BBC, where he learned his craft, but his passion for the photographic and film art form began as a young boy. His father worked at MGM film studios outside London, and whenever the opportunity arose, the young Dunn would spend hours on set – an enchanting playground and possibly a misspent childhood – observing amongst other filmmakers Stanley Kubrick creating 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sitting high up in the lighting gantry with those carbon arcs, plus time in the infamous MGM camera department, he got the bug!
From the age of eight, all he wanted to do was become a cinematographer. He read voraciously, absorbing anything and everything he could lay his hands on to do with films, filmmaking, and filmmakers. Through his early teenage years, he would make films on his own and with friends, using 8mm, then 16mm B&W and Colour.
Desperate for a path into professional filmmaking, he found a route via film editing at the BBC. Editing provided him with the opportunity of, while shooting his own material, nurturing it through every process; processing, editing, sound mixing, and dubbing – every aspect of the craft.
Hungry for camera work, he moved to Scotland to take up an opportunity with the film department. This proved to be a lucky move: he experienced huge ranges and styles of work, with a department head who encouraged experimentation and innovation during these formative years.
In the early 1980s he moved to Bristol in the west of England to expand his knowledge and to gain a more high-profile image. During his five years there, he received four BAFTA nominations and three wins in a series of award winning films for the BBC: “Threads” (dir. Mick Jackson), “Edge of Darkness” (dir. Martin Campbell), and “Tumbledown” (dir. Richard Eyre). With Hollywood knocking on his door, he left the BBC to begin a freelance career in film, with work including modern-day classics such as LA Story and The Bodyguard. During this time he was invited to join the BSC.
He met his wife, Emma, in 1993, and they married in 1996. He says,“Emma was, has been, and always will be my guiding light. I could not possibly do what I attempt to do without her by my side.” They have two talented children: Maxim (1997) and Grace (1998).
He has worked with a great many notable actors and directors on a huge range and style of films, including The Madness of King George, LA Story, The Bodyguard, Ever After, The Crucible, The Count of Monte Cristo, Liam, Hitch, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Precious, Crazy Stupid Love, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Hot Rod, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The History Boys, Effie, Practical Magic, Miss Potter, the television pilot “Empire,” Lady in the Van, Gosford Park, and The United States vs. Billie Holliday.
He is tremendously hardworking and a perfectionist by nature, known for his speed, his wholehearted commitment, and his immersion to each and every project. He is a naturally visual storyteller, bringing unique and evocative imagery to each and every film, every project.
Dunn lives with his family in the west of England on Exmoor.
REBECCA MILTON (Production Designer) is a Scottish art director and production designer based in London with experience across film and television. She entered the entertainment industry having first become an established architect and uses this prior experience as a means of informing her work today. In the world of art direction, Milton has worked on notable films such as Barry Levinson’s Rock the Kasbah, and London Has Fallen, directed by Babak Najafi. She served as Art Director on Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, which was nominated for an ADG Award as well as an Academy Award® for Production Design. Milton then went on to work on projects such as Me Before You, directed by Thea Sharrock, Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, and the Patrick Hughes-directed The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Milton has also garnered experience as Production Designer, working on the award-winning short film Yussef Is Complicated.
ANNIE SYMONS (Costume Designer) began her career in costumes at the age of 14, skipping school to work in the local theatre. After graduating from Hornsey School of Art with a degree in Fine Art (Painting, Performance, and Filmmaking), she cut her teeth in film and costume design at the National Film & TV School, financing this part of her education by working at the London Palladium.
Symons eventually designed several shorts and features for the British Film Institute with some of the UK’s most innovative and creative directors. During this period, she was simultaneously designing for commercials, music videos, and an Italian fashion company while also running her own label, “Manifest.”
Since then, Symons has designed numerous film and television productions which have earned accolades, including “Worried About the Boy,” which received a BAFTA TV Award for Best Costume Design; “Doctor Zhivago” (2002), which received a BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Costume Design; “Crimson Petal & the White,” which was honored with an RTS Award for Best Costume Design; and “Great Expectations” (2011) for the BBC and Masterpiece Theatre, which was bestowed with four Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Costumes. Other noteworthy television credits include “The Hollow Crown,” “Da Vinci’s Demons” (which earned a BAFTA TV Craft nomination for Costume Design), and “The Terror” for AMC and Scott Free Productions.
Outside of television, Symons has collaborated with artist Sir Isaac Julien on immersive, multi-screen installation work, including “Once Again…(Statues Never Die),” commissioned by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, and “Lessons of the Hour,” a meditative film portrait of Frederick Douglass.
In the feature film arena, Symons’s credits include The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur, Terence Davies’ war-time drama Benediction (which garnered a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Costume Design), and most recently, My Policeman, starring Harry Styles and Emma Corrin.