"I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins & Asa Butterfield to star in X Plus Y

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Origin Pictures, Minnow Films, BBC Films and the BFI Film Fund are delighted to announce principal photography will commence on new British coming of age comedy/drama, X PLUS Y, on 22nd July. The film, which has received support from Head Gear Films, Screen Yorkshire and LipSync, will be shooting on location in Sheffield, Cambridge and Taiwan.

X PLUS Y stars some of Britain’s best loved acting talent including Rafe Spall (Life of Pi, I Give It A Year), Sally Hawkins (Made In Dagenham, Happy Go Lucky), Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game, Hugo, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas) and Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes, The World’s End).

A young maths genius has his logic thwarted by the one thing he can’t make sense of – love.

Teenage maths prodigy Nathan (Asa Butterfield) struggles with people, not least his mother, Julie (Sally Hawkins), but finds comfort in numbers. Mentored by unconventional and anarchic teacher Mr Humphreys (Rafe Spall), Nathan’s talents win him a place representing GB at the International Mathematics Olympiad.

When the team go to train in Taiwan, headed up by squad leader Richard (Eddie Marsan), Nathan is faced with unexpected challenges – not least his new and unfamiliar feelings for his Chinese counterpart, the beautiful Zhang Mei (Jo Yang).

From suburban England to bustling Taipei and back again, this original and heartwarming film tracks the funny, complex relationship Nathan has with his mentor who ends up learning more from Nathan than he could ever teach him. Ultimately this is Nathan’s journey to embrace the irrational nature of love.

Directed by BAFTA winning documentary maker Morgan Matthews, the film is produced by BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning David Thompson (Mandela) and Laura Hastings-Smith (Hunger, Chatroom), and written by award-winning playwright James Graham (This House, The Whiskey Taster)X PLUS Y will be co-produced by Origin Pictures’ Ed Rubin; BBC Film’s Christine Langan and Joe Oppenheimer, Bankside’s Phil Hunt and Compton Ross and the BFI’s Lizzie Francke will executive produce.

Bankside Films exclusively represents world sales rights and will be launching the film to buyers in Toronto this year and LipSync Post will provide full post-production services and deliverables for the film.

Inspired by Matthews’ 2007 BAFTA nominated BBC documentary ‘Beautiful Young Minds’ which charted the incredible journey of the brightest young brains of Britain, X PLUS Y is a heart-warming and uplifting comedy which follows one extraordinary teenager as he finds his place in the world. The film is a touching, heroic and funny story about pursuing dreams, overcoming adversity and making the leap without knowing where you will land.

Matthews commented: “After a five year journey of thought and preparation, I could not be happier at the prospect of going into production with the wonderful cast and crew we have assembled for X PLUS Y. I hope to bring to the big screen, some of the realism, empathy, humour and storytellling that I’ve experienced through years of making documentaries – especially the understanding I gained whilst filming the extraordinary individuals on their real-life journey to the Mathematical Olympiad.”

Thompson and Rubin from Origin Pictures comment, “We are thrilled to be embarking on this debut film from two exceptional talents in Morgan and James, and with such a wonderful cast. This terrific project very much fulfils Origin’s strategy of helping to bring great British talent to the big screen – in films that are uplifting and have real emotional heart.”

 

Christine Langan, Head of BBC Films, commented “Morgan Matthews and James Graham are two of the most exciting new talents out there and it’s a privilege to bring their first film to the screen.”

 

Lizzie Francke, Senior Executive in the BFI Film Fund, comments: “Morgan has made such an important mark with his inspirational documentaries while James is one of the strongest voices to emerge out of theatre in recent years. Morgan came to us with the idea of adapting his documentary Beautiful Young Minds into a drama just over five years ago and it is fantastic, and one of the great pleasures of the job here, to see the film now enter production.”

 

BBC Films and BFI Presents an Origin Pictures-Minnow Films production in association with Head Gear Films & Metrol Technology, Screen Yorkshire and LipSync.