Lena Dunham’s ‘Catherine, Called Birdy’ to Make World Premiere at TIFF

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“Catherine Called Birdy,” the latest film from writer-director Lena Dunham, will make its world premiere at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Bella Ramsey (“Game of Thrones”) takes on the titular role of Lady Catherine (better known as “Birdy”) in the adaptation of Karen Cushman’s 1995 novel. A high-spirited and fiercely independent teenager, Birdy was perhaps born into the wrong time and place – the Medieval village of Stonebridge, to be exact. As the youngest child of Lady Aislinn and Lord Rollo, she’s supposed to marry a wealthy man to save the family from financial destitution. Birdy keeps inventing new ways to foil her father’s plan, until a particularly heinous suitor forces her parents to choose between their greed and their daughter’s happiness.

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Ramsey is joined by Lesley Sharp (“Naked”), Sophie Okonedo (“Slow Horses”), Joe Alwyn (“Conversations With Friends”), Isis Hainsworth (“Emma”), Dean-Charles Chapman (“1917”) and Paul Kaye (“The Stranger”). Billie Piper (“Doctor Who”) and Andrew Scott (“Fleabag”) round out the supporting cast.

The film reunites “Game of Thrones” alumni Ramsey, Chapman and Kaye. Chapman and Scott both featured in Sam Mendes’ World War I epic “1917.”

“Catherine Called Birdy” will be Dunham’s fourth feature film and her second to debut at a major festival this year. Sharp Stick,” starring Dunham, Kristine Froseth and Jon Bernthal, premiered at Sundance in January and will open in theaters July 29.

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In association with Dunham and her banner Good Thing Going, Jo Wallett will produce, along with Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title.

Cushman won a Golden Kite Award and a Newbury Honor – one of the highest honors in American children’s literature – for writing “Catherine Called Birdy.” In 2001, her 1996 novel “The Ballad of Lucy Whipple” was adapted into a film starring Glenn Close and Jena Malone.

“Catherine Called Birdy” will premiere at TIFF alongside films such as “The Fabelmans,” “The Woman King,” “Bros,” “Glass Onion,” “On the Come Up” and “My Policeman.”

“Catherine Called Birdy” hits theaters Sept. 23 before its Prime Video debut on Oct. 7. Check out a first-look clip above.

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