Olivia Colman, John Lithgow to star in South Australian film Jimpa

Olivia Colman, John Lithgow to star in South Australian film Jimpa

Award-winning actors John Lithgow (left) and Olivia Colman (right).

South Australian screen industry talent is teaming up with Golden Globe award-winning actors Olivia Colman and John Lithgow in Adelaide to shoot the local drama feature film Jimpa, telling the story of a straight mother, a Queer family, and a life-changing visit.

Jimpa is the latest feature film from acclaimed South Australian writer and director Sophie Hyde, whose most recent film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande starring Emma Thompson premiered at the Sundance Festival in 2022.

Hyde wrote the script with local and frequent collaborator Matthew Cormack, who worked with her on her debut feature film 52 Tuesdays.

Colman and Lithgow need little introduction. Colman, whose early work showed her comedic prowess on the genre-bending dark British comedy Peep Show, went on to become a Hollywood superstar with notable roles in The Lost Daughter, Empire of Light, and The Favourite, the latter earning her an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Anne, Queen of Britain.

Lithgow will be known by many for his work on the television sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun which earned him three Primetime Emmy Awards for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, while he also received a Golden Globe in the drama series Dexter and rose masterfully to the difficult task of an American playing former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Netflix series The Crown

Filming on the new drama began in Adelaide in March, with locations in the CBD and at the South Australian Film Corporation's (SAFC) Adelaide Studios in Glenside, with more filming now underway in Amsterdam.

Further filming will take place later this year in Adelaide and Helsinki. Post production will take place in Adelaide by Closer Productions and KOJO Studios.

Jimpa tells of film director Hannah (Colman) and her non-binary teenager Frances, played by Aud Mason-Hyde, who travel to Amsterdam to visit Frances’ beloved gay grandfather “Jim-pa” (Lithgow). 

When Frances yearns to stay with Jim for their final year of school, Hannah has to reconsider her beliefs about parenting and confront old stories about her relationship with her father.

"It is a great privilege to make films, especially when you can do it with the people you love," says Hyde.

"I’ve had the good fortune to do post production on all my films in South Australia with a brilliant team who will return for this, but I haven’t shot a feature film on home ground since 52 Tuesdays in 2011, so it was such a pleasure to start production there before heading here to Amsterdam where we are currently filming with the wonderful John, Olivia and Aud and our superb cast and crew."

SAFC CEO Kate Croser says the corporation is delighted to support the film from acclaimed writer Hyde alongside Cormack, showcasing new and established South Australian screen industry talent on an international stage, including South Australian Aud Mason-Hyde in their feature film debut. 

"The SAFC has been proud to play a supporting role in Sophie’s inspiring rise to success over more than two decades through her early short films, series such as F***ing Adelaide and The Hunting and films like 52 Tuesdays and Animals, to her position as one of the state’s most prolific and acclaimed screen talents," says Croser.

"I laughed out loud and cried when reading the Jimpa script; it is a powerful and personal, affecting story that so will resonate with many. Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) is proud to support courageous storytelling and extraordinary talent, exemplified by South Australian director Sophie Hyde, and we are thrilled Jimpa will be presented as part of AFF 2025," adds Adelaide Film Festival CEO and creative director Mat Kesting.

The South Australian Government is supporting Jimpa through the SAFC’s Screen Production Fund and Post Production, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Rebate, and the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund.

"It is so exciting to have Jimpa being filmed here in South Australia and the Malinauskas Government is delighted to be supporting this incredible production," says SA Arts Minister Andrea Michaels.

"This is a remarkable story, written and directed by South Australia’s own Sophie Hyde, and it is wonderful to welcome her home both to shoot her film and for the post-production work. 

"It speaks volumes about the remarkable skill and creativity of our screen sector, alongside the incredible locations we have on offer in South Australia, that we continue to see a pipeline of such high-calibre productions being filmed here in South Australia with stars like Olivia Colman and John Lithgow involved."

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