Tim Lewiston's Directorial Debut 'Hot Potato' Being Shopped (Berlin)

3:53 PM PST 02/10/2011 by Stuart Kemp

The filmmaker is developing what may be his second feature as a director, "Cheltenham," centered on an English town's famous horse race.

Writer and producer Tim Lewiston’s directorial debut, after being involved in various capacities on more than 40 films over 38 years in the industry, really is his very own Hot Potato.

Lewiston’s Hot Potato, footage of which is being shown to buyers for the first time in the EFM, counts Ray Winstone, Lois Winstone, Jack Huston, Colm Meaney and John Lynch. German TV star Maike Billitis, another among its ensemble cast, is on hand during Berlin to support the project’s push to buyers.

A late 1960s British gangster romp about a large lump of uranium and the various attempts to sell it to the highest bidder, is being hawked here by Locomotive Distribution, run by former Miramax Films high flier Colleen Seldin

Lewiston told THR he “loved every minute” as a director after so many years as a producer, writer and editor. “I cried the first time I said, ‘cut,’ ” Lewiston said. “The shot didn’t even involve any actors, it was just a safe box coming out of a wall.”

Lewiston is also developing what he aims to be his sophomore directorial outing. He is penning the script entitled Cheltenham, a contemporary romp set against the backdrop of the English town of the same name and its famous horse race.

Lewiston is adapting the script himself from an original draft by Piers Ashworth, the scribe behind various hits including St. Trinians and Burke and Hare.

Still in the early stages, Lewiston hopes Ray Winstone’s desire to work with him again, will see him sign up for a role in the £5 million ($8 million) budgeted tale about six broke friends, a crooked accountant and an attempt to fix a horse race.

He hasn’t given up the producer day job either and, through his Wardour Pictures production banner plans to produce a John Henderson-directed remake of the 1950s comedy Genevieve.

“The aim is to build a company in London and make three pictures of a reasonable budget each year. That would be £10 million ($16 million) or less and story driven.

Meanwhile, Lewiston is aiming for a slot in Directors Fortnight at this year’s Festival de Cannes for Potato and hopes to shed a few tears behind the camera again soon.

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