Bella Ramsey, Louis Partridge, Ruby Stokes to Star in Coming-of-Age Comedy ‘Sunny Dancer’ From Rising Brit Director George Jaques (EXCLUSIVE)

25th Apr, 2024


Bella Ramsey, Louis Partridge, Ruby Stokes to Star in Coming-of-Age Comedy ‘Sunny Dancer’ From Rising Brit Director George Jaques (EXCLUSIVE)

Embankment Films is launching the film, which takes a "refreshing, uplifting and surprising approach to the teenage cancer story," in Cannes

By Alex Ritman

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Vivek Vadoliya, Charlie Gray, Joseph Sinclair, Simon Emmet

A quartet of fast-rising British names are coming together for a buzzy new project launching at the Cannes market.

Bella Ramsey, Louis Partridge and Ruby Stokes are set to lead “Sunny Dancer,” the sophomore feature from George Jaques. Embankment Films is handling global pre-sales of the film, which it says showcases the “best of new British talent.”

“Sunny Dancer” follows Ivy (Ramsey), a teenager in remission from cancer, whose gloriously outspoken mum and well-intentioned dad insist she attend Children Run Free Camp, a summer retreat for young adults affected by cancer. The camp’s slogan, “Where kids come to kid,” does little to alleviate Ivy’s apprehension, and a quick Google search confirms her fears when she stumbles upon a cringeworthy promotional video filled with tacky messages and clichéd sunsets. As if conquering cancer wasn’t enough of a challenge, Ivy now faces the prospect of spending her summer at what she calls “chemo camp.” However, as Ivy is reluctantly dragged through camp experience, she discovers new feelings with new friends. 

As per the description, “‘Sunny Dancer’ takes a refreshing, uplifting and surprising approach to the teenage cancer story. As Ivy bonds with her fellow campers and blossoms in love — kids and adults emerge from adversity with resilience, humor and heart.”

Ken Petrie (“Black Dog”, “Enemy Within”) is producing the film under his 27 Ten banner alongside Jaques and his Athenaeum Productions. 

At just 23 years old, Jaques is considered a “quadruple threat” as a writer, producer, director and actor. His debut feature “Black Dog” had its world premiere at the 2023 BFI London Film Festival, while he has appeared in TV shows such HBO’s “The Third Day” and Lionsgate’s “The Serpent Queen.” He rose to prominence as a teenager when he directed his first play, “Dilate,” in an abandoned London tunnel. Ramsey, meanwhile, is best known as the BAFTA-, Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated star of “The Last of Us.” Partridge starred in both “Enola Holmes” movies for Netflix and is due to appear in Noah Baumbach’s as-yet-untitled next feature with George Clooney and Adam Sandler, as well as Alfonso Cuaron’s upcoming thriller series “Disclaimer” alongside Cate Blanchett and Sacha Baron Cohen. Stokes appeared in Netflix’s “Lockwood & Co” and acclaimed Brit drama “Rocks,” and reunites with Jacques after starring in “Black Dog.”

“I’m beyond excited to the tell this story which focuses on a subject matter very close to my heart,” Jaques said. “I can’t imagine anybody better to bring it to life than the amazing cast of Bella, Louis and Ruby — I am truly thrilled they are a part of it.” 

Added Hugo Grumbar of Embankment Films, “We’re committed to the global promotion of emerging talent and George Jaques is a force of nature, who has written funny, highly engaging characters, in a whip smart, emotional comedy.”

Ramsey is represented by Georgie Davies at Conway van Gelder Grant, CAA in the U.S., Relevant PR and attorney Bianca Levin at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman. Partridge is represented by Giacomo Palazzo at Independent Talent, WME in the U.S. and Public Eye Communications. Stokes is represented by Sophie Holden at Curtis Brown, UTA in the U.S. and Shelter PR. Jaques is represented by Kate Driver, Jason Weinberg and Liza Zusman at Untitled Entertainment, Ruby Kaye and Jon Cassir at CAA, Lorna Fallowfield and Maureen Vincent at United Agents and Pinnacle PR.