Breakthrough Entertainment Inc. Teams Up with UK Broadcaster to Bring the Iconic Literary Character to British Viewers
LONDON/TORONTO (September 8, 2016) – Breakthrough Entertainment, a leading Canadian production and distribution studio, alongside the operator of the largest commercial family of channels in the UK; ITV, brings the legendary Canadian character Anne Shirley to television screens across the UK with the two-hour film.
In addition to PBS in the US and ARD in Germany, the beloved Canadian icon is now heading into homes across Great Britain. L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is produced by Breakthrough Entertainment, in association with Corus Entertainment’s YTV and Executive Producer Kate Macdonald-Butler, the granddaughter of L.M. Montgomery who scribed the original book in 1908.
“It makes everyone at Breakthrough happy to see the story of Anne of Green Gables continue to spread across the globe,” says Craig McGillivray, Vice President of Distribution at Breakthrough Entertainment. “There is something special about sharing a classic Canadian literary character with viewers worldwide.”
Based on the original script by Susan Coyne and directed by John Kent Harrison, this recent adaptation, which was filmed in Canada, stars critically acclaimed actor Martin Sheen, who is best known for his role as President Bartlet in The West Wing and most recently the Netflix original Grace and Frankie. Sheen portrays Matthew Cuthbert, the brother of Marilla Cuthbert, who are the two siblings whom Anne is sent to live with.
Additional main cast members include 14-year old rising star Ella Ballentine as Anne Shirley, Canadian actress Sara Botsford as Marilla Cuthbert as well as Julia Lalonde, Kate Hennig, Stefani Kimber, Drew Haytaoglu, Kyle Gatehouse and Linda Kash.
L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, which is based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel, tells the story of Anne Shirley, a curious and positive young girl who is sent to the home of Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert from an orphanage by mistake. While the Cuthberts originally wanted a boy to help around the farm, they find themselves naturally drawn in by Anne’s uplifting spirit.
“Despite the story being written many years ago, the character and tale of Anne Shirley are still so iconic in Canada and abroad as there is a profound amount of relevancy among audiences that extends to multiple generations. L.M. Montgomery has crafted a powerful tale that represents the resilience in adversity of the human spirit,” says Executive Producer Joan Lambur.
First published in 1908, Anne of Green Gables remains a classic work of Canadian literature and has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. The eight-novel series is set in Prince Edward Island and has attracted readers from all over the globe, who are inspired by the spirited redhead Anne Shirley.
About Breakthrough Entertainment
Breakthrough Entertainment Inc. is an award winning producer and distributor of premium content for worldwide audiences. The entertainment studio’s operations include the development and distribution of feature films, television and digital content; international co-productions and production services. Breakthrough’s digital media division ranks amongst the industry’s most respected producers of high quality interactive entertainment on mobile and online platforms. Established over 30 years ago, Breakthrough’s library now boasts over 40 feature films and 4000 television episodes which air on major networks and digital channels across the globe. The studio has been recognized with international awards including numerous Geminis, Canadian Screen Awards, and Canadian Comedy Awards. www.breakthroughentertainment.com. Follow @breakthru_ent on Twitter.
ITV is an integrated producer broadcaster and the largest commercial television network in the UK. It is the home of popular television from the biggest entertainment events, to original drama, major sport, landmark factual series and independent news. It operates a family of channels including ITV, ITVBe, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 and CITV, which are broadcast free-to-air, as well as the pay channel ITV Encore. ITV is also focused on delivering its programming via the ITV Hub, mobile devices, video on demand and third party platforms. ITV Studios is a global production business, creating and selling programmes and formats from offices in the UK, US, Australia, France, Germany, the Nordics and the Netherlands. It is the largest and most successful commercial production company in the UK, the largest independent non-scripted indie in the US and ITV Studios Global Entertainment is a leading international distribution businesses.
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