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‘The Inbetweeners’ producer plans film about women’s football legend Rose Reilly (exclusive)

Source: Archive of the club, Public domain, via Wiki Commons

Rose Reilly with A.C.F. GBC Milan in 1976

Chris Young, the Scotland-based producer of The Inbetweeners, is now planning an ambitious feature film about Rose Reilly, famed Scottish footballer.

The Life Of Reilly is written by Edinburgh playwright and former journalist Lorna Martin, and Young is on the hunt for a director.

The UK’s Entertainment Film Distribution will be a partner on the film, and Young expects to also add an Italian partner.

“It’s an incredible story. She is the greatest Scottish footballer ever,” Young says. “She was banned from playing professional football here in the ‘70s because she was a woman, so she left at age 17 to play in Italy.”

Riley played for teams in Italy and France and also won the precursor to the Women’s World Cup in 1984 with the Italian national team.

“This film will make you laugh and cry, which are my two key criteria, but it’s also incredibly inspiring because she did everything 30 years ahead of her time,” says Young. The script focuses on Reilly’s life from her teenage years to age 30.

Young adds, “It’s about becoming yourself. It’s about how to create your own world by finding the right people.”

Launching Silent Roar

Young was speaking to Screen at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which opened on Aug 18 with his latest production, Silent Roar.

Silent Roar marks the feature debut of Scottish writer/director Johnny Barrington, a former Bafta nominee and Screen International Rising Star of Scotland 2022.

Silent Roar is described as “a teenage tale of surfing, sex and hellfire” set on the island of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. The cast features Louis McCartney, Ella Lily Hyland, Mark Lockyer and Chinenye Ezeudu.

Young first met Barrington when the latter was a teenager who attended Young’s film club on the Isle of Skye, where they both live now. Young hired Barrington to work on several productions over the years as well as producing Barrington’s Bafta-nominated short Tumult, which played at Sundance 2012.

chris young headshot courtesy of chris young

Source: Subject’s own

Chris Young

In early 2020, Barrington came to Young with the idea for what would become Silent Roar, which was developed during the early pandemic. They shot in 2021 with backing from Screen Scotland, BBC Film and BFI – with Young Films cash-flowing the UK tax credit – for a budget of around £2.6m. While the film was in post, MK2 came on board for international sales.

Shooting in Lewis, which isn’t known for its filmmaking infrastructure, was a challenge but also a benefit, Young says. “We were really on our own out there – where we shot was even an hour away from Stornoway – and it makes everybody focus like a unit, like a family. That remoteness meant we ended up being together in a close way for six weeks.” Due to pandemic restrictions in 2021, they also had to shoot some material in 2022 as well.

Young praises Barrington as a unique Scottish talent. “Johnny has a very good sense of humour and a great imagination, but he’s also very sincere. He’s very collaborative.”

Young’s production company Young Films, based on the Isle of Skye, has credits Vitor Goncalves’ Portuguese feature The Invisible Life, Annie Griffin’s Festival, and the BBC’s groundbreaking Gaelic-language drama Bannan.

Its offshoot non-profit, Young Films Foundation, runs a year-round scriptwriting initiative for Scotland-based writers. Partners on that programme include Screen Scotland, Channel 4, Film4, BBC Drama, BBC Films and Sky. This year’s cohort of writers will be unveiled in September

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