Winterbottom pencils in '7 Days'


Q&A with Michael Winterbottom

CANNES -- Director Michael Winterbottom, whose Angelina Jolie starrer "A Mighty Heart" unspooled Out of Competition on Monday, has signed up for "7 Days," starring John Simm for Film4, the U.K. movie arm of Brit broadcaster Channel 4.

The movie is based on the fictionalized story of a U.K. prison inmate and his relationship with his family in the outside world. It will combine documentary and fiction.

Film4 plans to shoot the picture over five years in order to give Winterbottom a chance to explore the changing dynamics of the prisoner's relationships in real time with his wife, to be played by Shirley Henderson.

It will focus particularly on the effect that the imprisonment of a parent has on the lives and development of his four children, the makers said.

Film4 is co-financing Winterbottom's next project "Genova," which stars Colin Firth, Hope Davis and Catherine Keener.

"I wanted to make a film that showed the relationships within a family growing and changing over a long period of time," Winterbottom said. "Rather than compress the time period or resort to using technical ways of showing aging and time passing, I wanted to take a group of actors and work with them in a real time scale, giving an authenticity and depth to their performances."

Film4 chief Tessa Ross added that the project "reflects our commitment to produce the most ambitious and innovative films."