TV & Movies

Impressionist Painter Mary Cassatt Subject Of Biopic From Producer Ted Field & Director Anaïs Tellenne

EXCLUSIVE: Wheel Of Time execs Ted Field and Rick Selvage are among producers of feature biopic Les Indépendants about American impressionist Mary Cassatt and her relationship with French painter Edgar Degas.

French filmmaker Anaïs Tellenne (From the Big Fire Only the Embers Remain) has been attached to direct. Diah Wymont (costumer on Dick Tracy), inspired by the story of Cassatt forging her own path in the 19th century art world, makes her screenwriting debut after a long career as a costume designer.

The film will chart the story of Cassatt as a young woman with talent and an adventurous spirit striving to make it in Paris where she confronts chauvinism, elitism, art world misogyny, and the ravages of war. She falls in love with renowned artist Edgar Degas [in real life the artistic collaborators were not lovers] and their love and talent challenge the establishment as their fame grows. Ultimately, Cassatt must choose between Degas’ love and her own artistic path. 

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The project is a collaboration between production companies Onphaya and Radar Pictures. Rick Selvage and Peta Johnson will produce for Onphaya. Veteran producer Ted Field, whose credits include Cocktail, Runaway Bride and Riddick (as well as the Jumanji franchise as exec producer), will produce for Radar with Michael Napoliello. 

Selvage and Field are currently among executive producers on Amazon Prime’s series Wheel of Time and the Wheel of Time feature trilogy, The Age of Legends. Actress-turned-filmmaker Tellenne is in post on French drama From the Big Fire Only the Embers Remain starring Emmanuelle Devos.

On boarding the production, Tellenne said: “You are not a woman who is an artist, you are an artist who is a woman. There are no better words than this line written by Diah to express what The Independents promises to be. Cassatt’s journey is that of a woman who chose, at a time when almost everything was chosen for women. Her courage, freedom and determination are absolutely modern. I can’t wait to share her emancipatory path so that it can join those of all those who continue to inspire us today.”

Radar Pictures is repped by Buchwald.

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