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Principal photography begins on X Plus Y with Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins

Story by Jack Foley

PRINCIPAL photography will commence on new British coming-of-age comedy/drama X PLUS Y on July 22, 2013.

The film, which has received support from Head Gear Films, Screen Yorkshire and LipSync, will be shooting on location in Sheffield, Cambridge and Taiwan.

It stars some of Britain’s top 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).

Inspired by Matthews’ 2007 BAFTA nominated BBC documentary Beautiful Young Minds, which charted the incredible journey of the brightest young brains of Britain, the film follows teenage maths prodigy Nathan (Butterfield) as he struggles with people, not least his mother, Julie (Hawkins), but finds comfort in numbers.

Mentored by unconventional and anarchic teacher Mr Humphreys (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 (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.

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).

Director 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 added: “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.”

And 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.”

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