Sunset Song: Terence Davies Screen Version of Scottish Author Lewis Grassic Gibbon

An intimate epic, Terence Davies‘ new film is the screen version of Scottish author Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 1932 classic novel Sunset Song.

Davies’s much-anticipated film has a great cast: Agyness Deyn (Pusher), Peter Mullan (known for his Ken Loach films, War Horse, and his own films as director) and Kevin Guthrie (Sunshine on Leith).

The novel is widely regarded as one of the most important works in Scottish literature. Sunset Song was adapted for television in 1971 by BBC Scotland but has never been made into a film.

The story is set in the early 20th century in northeast Scotland during a time of great social upheaval and unrest. Deyn plays a young woman coming of age as her family is beset by tragedy. The distant rumblings of World War I bring some of the worst aspects of the modern world to this remote rural community.

Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter‘s Liverpool-based production banner Hurricane Films, IRIS Productions and SellOutPictures are mounting the project for the big screen.

Fortissimo Films is handling the international distribution rights for the film and will be shopping it to buyers in Cannes next month. Sunset Song is set to deliver later this year, for distribution in 2015.

The film shoot began in New Zealand to capture the March harvest season, followed by interior work at Filmland in Luxembourg.

The U.K.-Luxembourg co-production is financed by Luxembourg Film Fund, the British Film Institute’s film fund, Creative Scotland, BBC Scotland and private equity.

The film is being produced by Boulter and Papadopoulos, together with Nicolas Steil from IRIS Productions and Bob Last of SellOutPictures. Lizzie Francke is the BFI Film Fund executive on the project.

Papadopoulos said: “With Terence’s distinctive style, and themes that are as relevant today as they were in the early 20th century, we’re confident Sunset Song will resonate with audiences the world over.”

Sunset Song is Davies’ first feature since 2011’s The Deep Blue Sea, another period drama, which featured Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston.

Bob Last of SellOutPictures told the Hollywood Reporter: “After working with Terence on House of Mirth, we were looking for another ambitious project to do, and Sunset Song was a story that Terence not only loved but that would allow him to take his eye, vision and poetry out into the landscape, a first for him. Our ambition for the film and the opportunity to capture the grandeur of the Scottish landscape drove the use of 65mm film, a first for Scotland and an exciting addition to Terence’s pallette.”

BFI Film Fund chief Ben Roberts described Davies as “one of our finest filmmakers, whose visually stunning and emotionally penetrating films have opened the eyes, hearts and minds of audiences around the world.”

Sunset Song is the fifth film with Scottish roots after Under the SkinSunshine on LeithThe Angels’ Share and For Those in Peril.