Freeheld, the passion project of Ellen Page, tells the real life struggles of the late Laurel Hester, a police detective who fought government officials for equal treatment when she was diagnosed with cancer and the government denied Hester from passing on her pension to her partner Stacie Andree. Likely Oscar-winner Julianne Moore (Still Alice) stars as Hester and Page, who is a producer and has been developing the film since she was 21, stars as Andree.
The filming of Freeheld, which is based on a book and documentary of the same title, hasn't been without incident: Last year a New York Catholic boys school denied the production from shooting on its campus due to the lesbian content. The decision was later reversed and shooting resumed.
“It’s very direct in showing how discrimination against the LGBT community affects people,” Page told Out last year when she was featured in the Out100. “There’s no getting around the unfairness that happened here, and just how illogical and almost psychopathic it felt. And it’s so exciting to get to do a love story with the sex that you actually fall for. I’m thrilled about it.”
In the latest development, there was a bidding war for the film in Berlin, with Lionsgate nabbing the rights, according to THR:
"In a contest that went overnight and into dawn in the German capital, the company beat out numerous other bidders, including Focus Features, Sony Pictures Classics, and Netflix, among others. The deal for North American rights was in the high seven figures, according to sources. Even more noteworthy is that the bidding war erupted after execs saw only a 12-minute sizzle reel, and not a completed film, since Freeheld is still in post."
Steve Carell, Michael Shannon, and Luke Grimes also star in the film.