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The Favourite

The Favourite Alivia Colman Rachel Weisz 4318x2879
Cineál Tionscadail
Feature Film
The Favourite
Release Date
Irish Partner
Element Pictures

Scarlet Pictures UK, Arcana, Film4 Productions, Waypoint Entertainment

Funding Strand
Single Project Development
Year Funded
Funding Amount

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The project was funded by MEDIA in 2003, when it was called ‘The Balance
of Power,’ with the award going to Scarlet Films UK which featured Ceci
Dempsey as the producer. The project was in development for many years
before Element Pictures took it on with Dempsey co-producing.

A Film By Yorgos Lanthimos.
Written by: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara.
Produced by: Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Yorgos Lanthimos.
Cast: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, James Smith, Mark Gatiss.

The Favourite is an Irish, UK & US co-production written and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.

Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless,
duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne
occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country
in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper.

When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.


  • Oscars; In 2019, the film was nominated for 10 Oscar awards with the Best Actress award going to Olivia Coleman.

  • Biennale: The Favourite won two Venice International Film Festival awards: the Grand Jury Prize and the Volpi Cup for Best Actress.

  • It also won 10 British Independent Film Awards, including Best British Independent Film; Best Actress; Best Supporting Actress; Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

  • Golden Globes: It was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture, and was ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 10 films of 2018.

  • EFAs: In 2019, it won 8 European Film Awards including BEST FILM, BEST DIRECTOR Yorgos Lanthimos; BEST ACTRESS Olivia Coleman; CINEMATOGRAPHY Robbie Ryan

  • EDITING Yorgos Mavropsaridis; COSTUME DESIGN Sandy Powell; HAIR & MAKE-UP Nadia Stacey.

'MEDIA funding was crucial to us in the early stages of the company when there was little going on in the way of production. The funding had the combined effect of helping us to build up resources in the company so we could incur a development overhead on the one hand and then also gave us the resources to work with talent and start developing projects. And that vote of confidence in the company was really helpful at that point in time. It gave us some freedom and flexibility.’ Andrew Lowe, Element Pictures.

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