Olivia Colman, John Lithgow drama 'Jimpa' shooting in Australia and Amsterdam

Filming will also take place in Helsinki. 

By Mona Tabbara 7 May 2024

Olivia Colman, John Lithgow drama 'Jimpa' shooting in Australia and Amsterdam
'Jimpa'; cr: Mark De Blok

Sophie Hyde’s personally inspired multi-generational family story Jimpa, starring Olivia Colman and John Lithgow, has been acquired by Protagonist Pictures. CAA Media Finance is repping North American rights.

Filming started in Adelaide, Australia, and will return there. Cast and crew are now in Amsterdam and will move to Helsinki. 

Screen Australia and Align are backing the film with the Netherlands Film Fund and Netherlands Film Production Incentive support. Cinéart has Benelux rights, while Kismet will distribute in Australia and New Zealand. The Unquiet Collective, six women who work with filmmakers to help their films engage better with audiences, is involved in the Australian release. 

The fictional story includes characters based on Hyde’s father Jim/Jim-Pa (Lithgow) and Hyde’s child Aud Mason-Hyde, who plays trans non-binary teenager Frances in the film.

The film details the journey to Amsterdam by Frances and their mother Hannah (Colman) to visit Jimpa, who is gay, that prompts Hannah to reconsider her beliefs about parenting and confront the past.

“This story is a very personal one and making it is filled with some sadness and a lot of joy,” says Hyde. “I’m particularly treasuring that I get to work with my child Aud in their feature film debut. The stories we tell help us work out who we want to be, and this one is filled with warmth, humour, love, and joy. I’m delighted to be making it.”

The script is by Hyde and Matthew Cormack, who together wrote Hyde’s debut dramatic feature 52 Tuesdays, starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey, who also appears in Jimpa. The cast also includes Daniel Henshall, Kate Box, Eamon Farren, Cody Fern, Deborah Kennedy, Hans Kesting, Zoë Love Smith, Romana Vrede, Jean Janssens and Frank Sanders.

Hyde and Bryan Mason from Closer Films, Marleen Slot from Viking Film in Amsterdam and Liam Heyen from Mad Ones Films in Sydney are producing.

“Having a gay producer on the team is useful to ensure there’s a producorial perspective to protect the story and understand it on a deep level,” says Heyen. “I strive to make work that portrays members of the LBGTQI+ community as real, flawed and worthy people and explore the contradiction that our lives have both everything and nothing to do with our gender identity or sexuality.”

Financing is in association with The Finnish Impact Film Fund, Aurora Studios, Cinéart, The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund and Mind The Gap Film Finance. Further financing is provided by Kojo, Closer and Mad Ones. Screen Australia and the SAFC provided development funding.

“Time and time again we see that when a special filmmaker with a unique vision crafts a film, it can truly breakthrough and connect with audiences,” said Protagonist CEO Dave Bishop of Hyde’s previous film Good Luck To You, Leo Grande. “Having Olivia and John rounding out such a talented cast, we know she will do the same with Jimpa.

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