Lena Dunham kicked off her year by premiering her latest directorial effort, “Sharp Stick,” at Sundance. Now there’s word she’ll be starting her autumn by screening yet another film at another prestigious fest. Variety reports the multi-hyphenate will world premiere her medieval children’s pic “Catherine Called Birdy” at TIFF in September.
Described as a “passion project” for Dunham, the long-in-the-works “Catherine Called Birdy” is adapted from Karen Cushman’s 1994 historical YA novel of the same name. Set in 1290 England, the film “focuses on Lady Catherine (Bella Ramsey), the youngest child of Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott) and Lady Aislinn (Billie Piper). When Catherine’s parents attempt to fix their financial woes by marrying her off to a wealthy man, she counteracts by scaring off her potentials suitors, resulting in tension between the spirited and independent young woman and her traditional parents,” per the source.
“I wanted to highlight this girl who was living in the wrong time,” Dunham has said of the project. “If she was living in 2022, she would be a pretty classic tomboy or able to explore the gender binary, she’d be able to play all the sports she wanted,” the “Girls” star-creator said. “But there are still as we know, huge challenges to being a woman in this day and age, and a teenage girl.”
Dunham wrote, produced, and directed “Catherine Called Birdy,” and appears in a supporting role. The film will have a limited theatrical run beginning September 23 before landing on Prime Video October 7.
“Sharp Stick” will open in theaters July 29 and hit VOD August 16. The cringe comedy sees a naïve, sexually inexperienced 26-year-old woman (Kristine Froseth) embarking on an affair with a married man. Dunham made her feature directorial debut with 2009’s “Creative Nonfiction” and followed it up with 2010’s “Tiny Furniture.” She received eight Emmy nominations for her work on “Girls.” Since then, her credits have included “Camping,” “Generation,” and “Industry.”
TIFF will run September 8-18. Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King” and Sanaa Lathan’s feature directorial debut, “On the Come Up,” are also set to screen.
Check out a previously released clip for “Catherine Called Birdy” below.