Sky Atlantic’s Little Birds starts filming in Spain
by Davide Abbatescianni
- Director Stacie Passon has recently added Hugh Skinner, Rossy de Palma, Nina Sosanya and Jean-Marc Barr to her stellar cast, led by Juno Temple
Detroit-born director Stacie Passon (American Gods, House of Cards) commenced filming on her new project in Tarifa, Spain last week. She is best known for her television works and for her directorial debut, Concussion (2013), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was crowned winner of the Teddy Award Jury Prize at the Berlinale in 2013. Passon is now preparing a six-episode, high-end TV series entitled Little Birds, playfully inspired by Anais Nin’s infamous collection of short stories.
The script, penned in its entirety by Qatari-American artist Sophia Al-Maria, weaves tales of love and desire together with personal drama and political intrigue and is set in Tangier in 1955, in the famous “international zone”, one of the last outposts of colonial decadence. The story revolves around troubled American debutante Lucy Savage (Juno Temple), who desires an unconventional life outside of the societal cage she has been kept in and finds herself on the cusp of achieving a painful yet necessary independence.
Other important characters are Hugo Cavendish-Smyth (Hugh Skinner), an aristocratic English Lord who is set to marry Lucy but whose heart is torn between his fiancée and his dashing Anglo-Egyptian lover Adham Abaza (Raphael Acloque); Cherifa Lamour (Yumna Marwan), a Moroccan dominatrix who services the diplomats and foreigners of this colourful, bohemian world; secretary Pierre Vaney (Jean-Marc Barr), who is desperately in love with her; Contessa Mandrax (Rossy de Palma), described as “the beating social heart of the colony”; and Lili Von X (Nina Sosanya), who encourages Lucy to live her life her own way.
Production will move to Manchester in May. Little Birds is just one of the works on the most recent slate of high-end TV series produced by Sky, which includes Catherine the Great, Chernobyl, Temple and the second season of Riviera.
Little Birds is being produced by Ruth McCance, Peter Carlton, Mark Herbert and Kara Manley for British firm Warp Films. The project has been commissioned for Sky by director of drama Cameron Roach and director of programmes for Sky Entertainment UK & Ireland Zai Bennett. The series will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment and will air on Sky Atlantic, Sky Spain and streaming service NOW TV in 2020.
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