Cannes: Weinstein Co. Picks Up Stephen Frears' 'Philomena'

Stephen Frears - H 2012

Stephen Frears - H 2012

The company forks out $6.5 million for U.S., Canada and Spain rights to the movie that stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

The Weinstein Co. has inked a deal for Stephen FrearsPhilomena, paying $6.5 million for rights in the U.S., Canada and Spain.

The film stars Judi Dench as Philomena Lee, an Irishwoman who searches for the son she was forced to give up for adoption. It's based on BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith's 2009 book, "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee."

PHOTOS: Star-Studded Jury Lands in Cannes

British comedian Steve Coogan directs and stars as a journalist who helps Lee search for her son in the film, which he co-wrote with Jeff Pope.

Philomena is being shopped to distributors at Cannes' Marche du Film by Pathe International and BBC Films, the standalone moviemaking unit of the U.K. public broadcaster.

The drama is produced by Coogan, Gabrielle Tana and Tracey Seaward and executive produced by Baby Cow’s Henry Normal, BBC Films chief Christine Langan and Pathe's Francois Ivernel and Cameron McCracken.

Natascha Wharton oversaw the film for the BFI's Film Fund. 

It marks a return to the big screen for Frears after Lay the Favorite last year. His directorial effort for HBO, Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, will unspool May 22 in a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival.