Film based on Comma Press short story triumphs at the Berlinale

45 Years, a feature film based on a short story published by Manchester -based Comma Press and directed by Andrew Haigh, has won two Silver Bear awards at the Berlinale International Film Festival.

Following the film’s premiere on Friday 13 February, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay were awarded the Best Actress and Best Actor Silver Bears at the gala awards ceremony in Berlin.

The film, a faithful adaptation of David Constantine‘s short story In Another Country which was commissioned for 2005’s Under the Dam, Comma Press’ first ever single-author collection, was hailed by critics as one of the standout films of the festival.

It shows how a couple’s marriage is thrown into turmoil on the eve of their 45th anniversary. Geoff (Courteney) receives a letter informing him that the body of his girlfriend who fell to her death in the Alps 50 years before, has been found. The news plunges Geoff back into his past leaving Kate (Rampling) alone and lonely as their anniversary party looms.

45 Years is the second adaptation of a Comma short story by the director-producer team Andrew Haigh and Tristan Goligher. In 2009 they produced the award-winning short, Five Miles Out, based on a Sarah Tierney short story which featured in Comma’s first ever new-writer showcase, Bracket (2006).

Alison Boyle, Relationship Manager, Literature, Arts Council England commented, “When you read in The Hollywood Reporter that the film 45 Years has been a hit at the 65th Berlinale Festival and that a North American deal has been signed, when you see photos of Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtney receiving a Silver Bear each for best actress and actor, you rightly feel proud. David Constantine, the author of the short story In Another Country which inspired the film, was born in Salford, Lancashire. His poetry is published by North East based Bloodaxe and his prose by North West based Comma Press, both of them National portfolio organisations. In spite of being described as a slow-burn British movie about tea-drinking and a foundering marriage, 45 Years wowed the critics and audiences. So, while we wait for the film to come to the UK, I recommend that you read the stories in the anthology Under the Dam.”


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