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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The UAE's Front Row Filmed Entertainment, based in Dubai, has successfully joined forces with Veep creator Armando Iannucci and The Death Of Stalin producer Yann Zenou for a new coming of age comedy set in the world of amateur Sumo wrestling. The luminaries will become executive producer and producer respectively and will be linking up with fellow BAFTA award winning producers Emily Leo and Oliver Roskill as well as Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto and Gianluca Chakra. The team has fully developed the project, simply titled Sumo, and will be producing the film under their respective companies being YZE, Wild Swim, Record Player, NDF International and Front Row Filmed Entertainment.
Iannucci has built his illustrious career on award winning acerbic social and political comedies such as HBO's Veep, and the BBC's I'm Alan Partridge and The Thick Of It, as well as 2017 smash The Death of Stalin. He has attracted seven Golden Globe nominations along the way and a staggering sixteen Prime Time Emmys. Iannucci's feature directorial debut In The Loop received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Also joining the team is Australian director Natalie Bailey who has extensively collaborated with Iannucci on HBO's hit TV show Avenue 5 and the Thick Of It.
Sumo follows the story of Jonah, a silver tongued and overweight kid with low self-esteem who meets Hana, a Japanese female janitor at his school - and an ex-Sumo wrestler. Along with a pedantic and friendless building manager, this unlikely trio set about building a 'Dohjo' and training for the US Sumo Open.
American Japanese actor Suzy Nakamura from Avenue 5 and ABC's Dr. Ken will play the role of Hana. The script was written by Richard Galazka.
"As with other films I've been involved with in the past, Sumo is the perfect feel-good movie with a heartfelt message at its core that audience love all around the world. Richard's script is literally 'laugh out loud funny whilst delicately exploring themes around body issues, bullying and self-worth. We cannot wait to bring it - and the explosive power of Sumo wrestling - to life." comments Zenou.
Sumo is scheduled to start shooting in Cape Town, South Africa in late spring. Casting is underway with more announcements set to be made soon.
Front Row Filmed Entertainment in brief
Headed by Gianluca Chakra, Front Row is the leading film distribution company based in Dubai, distributing for the Middle East and North Africa with a catalogue consisting of over 1,200 titles.
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