Baby Cow's Philomena picks up Queer Lion award at Venice festival

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by Nick Jaspan

PhilomenaBay Cow's production of Philomena  starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and directed by Stephen Frears has been chosen as the Gay Lion winner at the Venice Film Festival. The award was for the for the best portrayal of a gay character.

Frears’ Philomena, which was based on true events, starred Oscar winner Judi Dench as a Irishwoman (Philomena Lee) who searches for the son she was forced to give up for adoption. She subsequently discovers he is gay.

Dench’s character is accompanied on her journey by Steve Coogan playing the role of a 'snobbish' journalist.

The script was based on BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith‘s 2009 book, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.”

Following its première at Cannes, it was announced in May that The Weinstein Co. had paid $6.5m for the distribution rights in the US, Canada and Spain.

The drama was produced by Coogan, Gabrielle Tana and Tracey Seaward and executive produced by Baby Cow’s Henry Normal, BBC Films chief Christine Langan and Pathe’s Francois Ivernel and Cameron McCracken.