lain Softley began directing while he was still a student at Queen's College,
Cambridge. After graduating, he started working professionally as a director
on commercials, music videos, documentaries and short filmed drama. His
first feature film was the highly acclaimed "Backbeat," which
was about the fifth Beatle, Stuart Sutcliffe. Subsequently, he directed
the thriller Hackers."
"I think that it is interesting to use film as a way of going back
or getting into other people's shoes and not looking at that from a safe
distance," explains lain Softley, as he considers his approach to THE
WINGS OF THE DOVE. "I very much wanted to focus on the things that
are different. That is why I focused on creating a modern look for the film,
depicting a world that is on the cusp of the old and new. But that also
fits in with Kate's dilemma. She is caught between the old and new in different
ways, between what is traditionally expected of her and the life that she
would like to lead on her own terms."
"I am generally interested in stories about people who are swimming
against the tide, who exist at odds with the conventions of the society
that they are living in. That is very much the case with Kate and Merton,
who go against the accepted morality of their time. If one was to think
about THE WINGS OF THE DOVE in terms of filmic references rather than literary,
you could see it as very much in the film noir tradition. There is something
of the film noir femme fatale in Kate, in the way that she draws Merton
into her scheme. That was something that writer Hossein Armini and I talked
about a lot."
Softley pursued the film noir line in terms of the look of the film, but
it is "an influence as opposed to a stylistic straight jacket."
As he states, "It is a story where the undercurrents are fermenting
right from the beginning in the visual conception. There is a strong sense
of light and shadow in the design, but I wanted it to be just one of many
influences. The film noir look can be so mannered. What interests me is
the way that Eduardo Serra uses light to such a painterly effect normally,
and here he has taken up the offer of being a little more defined."
David Parfitt - Producer
David Parfitt co-founded the Renaissance Theatre Company with Kenneth Branagh
in 1987, after enjoying a career as an actor. The company produced various
celebrated West End theatre productions of Shakespeare including "Twelfth
Night," "Much Ado About Nothing," "Hamlet," "As
You Like It," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "King Lear,"
and "Coriolanus." Contemporary works included John Session's "Traveling
Tales" and Kenneth Branagh's "Public Enemy." David Parfitt,
Kenneth Branagh and business partner Stephen Evans joined together to form
Renaissance Films. Parfitt was the associate producer on the Oscar winning
"Henry V," and producer of "Peter's Friends." Continuing
Renaissance's interest in the classics, he also produced the successful
film version of "Much Ado About Nothing," and the Academy Award-nominated
short "Swan Song." He was coproducer of "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein,"
and producer of "The Madness of King George," which was nominated
for four Academy Awards, winning Best Art Direction. Most recently he produced
the acclaimed "Twelfth Night," directed by Trevor Nunn.
Stephen Evans - Producer
Stephen Evans joined the Renaissance Theatre company in 1987 and financed
its successful British and world tours of 1988 and 1989. He led the set-up
of Renaissance Films with Kenneth Branagh and David Parfitt, created the
company and raised the $8.5 million capitalization privately, becoming managing
director and a major shareholder. He was executive producer of both "Henry
V" and "Peter's Friends" before producing "Much Ado
about Nothing." He set up Mad George Films with Alan Bennett and Nicholas
Hytner for "The Madness of King George," which Evans produced
with David Parfitt, and which won the Alexander Korda BAFTA Award in 1996.
His next producing project was "Twelfth Night," again with David
Parfitt, which led up to their producing WINGS OF THE DOVE. As managing
director of Renaissance Films, his next two films are "Daniel Deronda,"
with Michael Barker directing, and "The Luchyn Defence," with
Marlene Garris directing.
Hossein Amini - Screenwriter
Hossein Amini is one of Britain's hottest young screenwriters. His first
produced feature film was the highly acclaimed "Jude," winner
of the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film at the Edinburgh Film
Festival, 1996, and Best Film at the Dinard Film Festival, 1996. His other
credits include "Dying of the Light," for the BBC, which was nominated
for a BAFTA in 1995. He is currently working on "The Hammerman"
for BBC Films, slated for production next year and a TV series commissioned
by Channel Four, "Deep Secrets."