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Amazon Studios Starts Production on Birds of Paradise

Amazon Studios and Anonymous Content have started principal photography on the feature film Birds of Paradise, from writer and director Sarah Adina Smith (Buster’s Mal Heart, Hanna).

Currently shooting in Budapest, Birds of Paradise stars Kristine Froseth (The Assistant, Looking for Alaska) and Diana Silvers (Space Force, Booksmart), and is produced by Anonymous Content’s Trevor Adley and Dara Gordon alongside Jonako Donley at Everything is Everything.

Based off the novel Bright Burning Stars from author A.K. Small, Birds of Paradise is set at a prestigious ballet school in Paris, where the new girl (Silvers) befriends a grieving dance prodigy (Froseth) as the dancers compete for the school’s ultimate prize: to receive a contract to join the Parisian Opera’s ballet company.

As the pressure mounts and the girls are pushed to their physical and emotional limits, their bond is tested and they’re forced to ask themselves just how far they are willing to go to win.

“Sarah is a talented, visionary filmmaker who we’re so happy is part of the Amazon family, and we can’t wait to bring her next story to life with Birds of Paradise,” said Julie Rapaport, Co-head of Movies at Amazon Studios.

“We’re also thrilled to be working with stars Diana Silvers and Kristine Froseth who are both on the path to becoming the next household names with their undeniable talents.”

Smith added, “I wrote these roles specifically for Kristine Froseth and Diana Silvers, who I believe are going to take the world by storm. I’m honored to take this journey with them and so thrilled to be partnering with Amazon Studios once again in pursuit of bold, unapologetic filmmaking.”

Sarah Adina Smith is a writer and director who has the ability to work across genre, from thriller & action to psychological horror to character drama. Birds of Paradise cements her relationship with Amazon Studios, where she is under a first look television deal via her company Everything is Everything. Sarah is also co-writing a pilot for FX through Searchlight Television.

Sarah directed the pilot and second episode of the series adaptation of Hanna for the streamer and served as co-executive producer of the series. She directed the first episode Hulu’s series adaptation of Looking for Alaska, based on the beloved John Green novel.

She wrote and directed the feature film Buster’s Mal Heart, starring Oscar and Emmy Award winner Rami Malek, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Her first feature, The Midnight Swim, won six top prizes on the festival circuit, including the breakthrough audience award from AFI FEST. Her other television credits include two episodes of Room 104 for HBO, and an episode of Legion for FX.

Amazon Original series include the Emmy Award-winning comedies Fleabag, created by and starring Emmy Award-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Emmy Award-winners Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino.

Amazon series also include the action thriller drama Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan starring John Krasinski, the irreverent superhero series The Boys, and fantasy drama Carnival Row starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne.

In film, Amazon Studios produces and acquires original movies for theatrical release and exclusively for Amazon Prime Video. In 2017, Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win Oscars for Manchester by the Sea and The Salesman.

Recent Amazon original movies include Troop Zero starring Viola Davis and Allison Janney, Tom Harper’s The Aeronauts starring Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne, Scott Z. Burns’ The Report, Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy and the Academy Award-nominated Les Misérables directed by Ladj Ly.

The upcoming 2020 slate include Benedict Andrews’ Seberg starring Kristen Stewart, Marjane Satrapi’s Radioactive with Rosamund Pike, Mike Cahill’s Bliss starring Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson, I’m Your Woman starring and produced by Rachel Brosnahan, Chemical Hearts starring Lili Reinhart and a diverse slate of first time feature filmmakers – Blow the Man Down directed by Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole, Selah and The Spades from director Tayarisha Poe, The Vast of Night directed by Andrew Patterson, 7500 directed by Patrick Vollrath, and Boyz in the Wood from director Ninian Doff.

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