'Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)'.

Monica Zanetti’s Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) opens in UK cinemas today via Kaleidoscope, with Arcadia Films also announcing a range of sales in other territories, including the US.

The queer rom-com, written and directed by Monica Zanetti, follows Ellie (Sophie Hawkshaw), a high-school high-flyer who aces her academic work but can’t figure out a way to talk to Abbie (Zoe Terakes), the person with whom she’s hopelessly in love – or ask them to the formal.

Then a miracle happens: her dead lesbian aunt Tara (Julia Billington) returns as fairy godmother to offer plain-speaking advice from beyond the grave, but she hasn’t dated since the 1980s, and Gen Z dating norms aren’t easy for her to grasp.

Marta Dusseldorp, Rachel House, and Bridie Connell also star.

MahVeen Shahraki and Patrick James are the producers for Brazen Lot, with executive producers Brian Cobb, Steve Jaggi, Phil Hunt and Alexandra Burke.

In addition to the Kaleidoscope deal, Arcadia has sold the film to Gravitas Venturas for the US, Optimale for France and Salzgeber for German-speaking territories. Release dates are yet to be announced.

Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) premiered at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in 2020, winning the Audience Award, and has go on to screen at international LGBT festivals including Frameline and LA Outfest. The film was also one of the program spotlights at for Melbourne International Film Festival’s virtual iteration, MIFF 68 1/2.

The UK deal was brokered by Arcadia. Other major territory deals secured by Arcadia include US (Gravitas Venturas), France (Optimale) and German-speaking (Salzgeber), with release dates to be announced.

Of the international roll out Zanetti says: “I’m so thrilled that the rest of the world will get to meet Ellie & Abbie and enjoy their love story, it’s particularly special to be having our UK premiere during Pride month, a time for Queer celebration and reflection”.

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