The Bill Nighy and Annette Bening film shot in Leeds and Doncaster

Bill Nighy in Whitby. Picture by Ceri Oakes.
Bill Nighy in Whitby. Picture by Ceri Oakes.

A drama starring Bill Nighy and Annette Bening is due to be unveiled at the Toronto International Film Festival later in the year - and it was filmed in Yorkshire.

A special presentation of Hope Gap is planned at the event in September after the feature was shot in Leeds and Doncaster, as well as the coastal beauty spot at Seaford Head in East Sussex that it is named after.

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In the film, Grace (Annette Bening) and Edward (Bill Nighy) have been married 29 years, but when their son Jamie (Josh O’Connor) visits for the weekend at their seaside home, his father tells him about plans to leave his mother.

It is written and directed by William Nicholson, the playwright and novelist behind the script for Gladiator.

Speaking previously about the project, Screen Yorkshire’s head of investments, Hugo Heppell, said: ‘‘We were really excited when Origin Pictures brought us the script for ‘Hope Gap’. William Nicholson’s screenwriting credentials coupled with the calibre of the lead cast make it an exemplary project that we are thrilled to have landed for Yorkshire.’’

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Bening is a four-time Oscar nominee (The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids Are All Right) and recently starred in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool and 20th Century Women.

Nighy’s credits include the highly-acclaimed BBC One drama Ordeal by Innocence, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Their Finest and Love Actually.

He also starred in the Screen Yorkshire-backed remake of Dad's Army in 2016 when it filmed in Bridlington.

O’Connor is best known for his portrayal of Johnny Saxby in God’s Own Country (2017), for which he won a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) for Best Actor. He was also nominated in 2018 for the BAFTA EE Rising Star Award. He will play a young Prince Charles in the upcoming series of The Crown.

Nicholson was the writer of Gladiator and Shadowlands. Other writing credits include Breathe, Unbroken, Everest, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Previous feature directing credits include Firelight (1997).

Speaking about Hope Gap, he has said: “Ever since Shadowlands I’ve been obsessed by the collision of love and pain: Hope Gap is the most intense, most painful, and most loving story I’ve ever told.

"I’m so proud to have Annette Bening, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor to tell it for me.”

Producer David Thompson, of Origin Pictures, added: “Bill has written a truly moving and witty script and we could not have asked for a stronger cast. I am delighted that Annette, Bill and Josh are going to star in what is sure to be a really powerful, distinctive and captivating film.

"We’re very pleased to have the support of Screen Yorkshire, Sampsonic, CMI and LipSync to bring this project to screen.”

The director of photography is Anna Valdez-Hanks, editor Pia di Ciaula, production designer Simon Rogers, costume designer Suzanne Cave and make-up designer Melanie Lenihan.

Another feature shot in Yorkshire, The Personal History of David Copperfield - which was partly filmed in Hull - will also get its North American premiere at the Toronto festival.