Casting for Sumo is underway and the shooting is scheduled to start in late Spring in Cape Town, South Africa.
Middle East film distributors Front Row has joined forces with film producers Armando Iannucci and Yann Zenou to make a coming-of-age comedy set in the world of amateur Sumo wrestling title Sumo.
Sumo follows the story of Jonah, a silver-tongued and overweight kid with low self-esteem, who meets Hana, a Japanese female janitor at his school – and an ex-Sumo wrestler. Along with a pedantic and friendless building manager, this unlikely trio set about building a ‘Dohjo’ and training for the US Sumo Open. The script was written by Brit list topper Richard Galazka.
Iannucci will act as executive producer and will be joining fellow BAFTA award-winning producers Emily Leo and Oliver Roskill as well as Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto and Gianluca Chakra for the project. Iannucci is known for making acerbic social and political comedies such as HBO’s Veep, I’m Alan Partridge and The Death of Stalin.
Australian director Natalie Bailey, who has extensively collaborated with Iannucci on HBO’s hit TV show Avenue 5 and BBC’s The Thick Of It, will also be part of the project.
The team will be producing the film under their respective companies being YZE, Wild Swim, Record Player, NDF International and Front Row Filmed Entertainment.
Commenting on the film, Yann Zenou said: “As with other films I’ve been involved with in the past, Sumo is the perfect feel-good movie with a heartfelt message at its core that audience loves all around the world. Richard’s script is literally “laugh out loud” funny whilst delicately exploring themes around body issues, bullying and self-worth. We cannot wait to bring it – and the explosive power of Sumo wrestling – to life.”