Categories Dream Horse Horse Racing Print Media Sundance Film Festival

Living the Dream: Why Hollywood Has Taken On Ultimate Rags to Riches Tale – Jan 26, 2020

Damian is a Dream in Dream Horse

by Olivia Buxton | Sunday Express | January 26, 2020

It’s a long way from an old slag heap in a Welsh mining village to the red carpets of Hollywood. But, then again, how often has a horse bought on a whim for £300 beaten the multi-millionaires of the sport of kings?  And all that after undergoing a revolutionary stem cell treatment to overcome a life-threatening injury which was feared would stop him ever racing again.

Now the rags-to-riches story of Dream Alliance and how he brought hope to one of Britain’s most deprived spots is a film with Homeland star Damian Lewis, Gavin & Stacey‘s Joanna Page and hit Broadway actress Toni Collette. It was even screened at the swish Sundance Film Festival in Utah on Friday.

It all began in Cefn Fforest working men’s club when Jan Vokes overheard tax advisor Howard Davies (played by Lewis) saying how he once ran a racehorse syndicate. It had cost him £5,000 and he’d promised wife Angela (played by Page) that he would never do anything like it again. But Jan was interested.

She cleaned at Asda and at a school and worked as a barmaid – but didn’t see why she couldn’t breed a racehorse. She had an allotment on a slag heap, as a child had watched her father breed budgies and had bred pigeons and whippets herself.

Howard managed to convince his wife that they wouldn’t lose money and found an aging stallion for stud.

Joanna Page says it was a joy to star alongside Damian Lewis in Dream Horse,

“Damian Lewis plays my husband, Howard, and we have a syndicate in this Welsh village, where we live and we breed a racing horse. Damian’s character is one of the main ones in the syndicate but Angela is not very supportive.”

“But Damian was so lovely and funny to work with. He’s brilliant.”

Continue reading Living the Dream: Why Hollywood Has Taken On Ultimate Rags to Riches Tale – Jan 26, 2020

Categories Dream Horse Gallery Premiere Review Screenings Sundance Film Festival

Dream Horse Sundance Review – Jan 25, 2020

“The Movie’s Got Spirit and Finishes Strong”

by Tim Grierson | Screen Daily | January 25, 2020

Toni Collette is a sure thing in Dream Horse, a thoroughly predictable but ultimately winning underdog sports movie. Based on the true story of a group of down-on-their-luck Welsh villagers who pool their assets to sponsor a racehorse, the movie goes a long way on the strength of the Oscar-nominated actress’s emotional performance as an unfulfilled wife and mother who decides to bet on herself. Director Euros Lyn overdoes the feel-good trappings, but it’s hard to deny the genuine sentiment that the movie stirs up.

This Sundance premiere will appeal to general audiences who just want a little uplift from their movies when it opens in the UK on April 17 and in the US in May. Collette fans will be pleased as well, and horse lovers should be charmed by the title character’s soulful eyes and knack for coming up big during the story’s most critical moments.

Set in the economically depressed Welsh community of Cefn Fforest, Dream Horse stars Collette as Jan Vokes, who works at a co-op and a bar to make ends meet. (Her husband Brian, played by Owen Teale, is out of work because of crippling arthritis.) With their kids grown, Jan (who’s always adored animals) is having trouble coping as an empty-nester — which partly explains her interest in supporting a racehorse, which might be a financial windfall and, more importantly, a way to add meaning to what she feels is a pretty humdrum life.

This real-life tale was previously the subject of the 2015 Sundance documentary Dark Horse, and there’s no mystery to why the material would lend itself to a likeable feature film. Recalling indie hits such as The Full Monty, Dream Horse is principally a salute to small-town characters who take a chance, in the process finding personal satisfaction. The movie’s target audience will want to believe that these downtrodden people can beat the odds, and Dream Horse does nothing to upset those expectations.

Continue reading Dream Horse Sundance Review – Jan 25, 2020

Categories Dream Horse Sundance Film Festival Trailer Video

Dream Horse Video Clip – Jan 24, 2020

Trial Run

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | January 24, 2020

It’s finally here – the first clip of Dream Horse was released today by Bleecker Street. You can also view Dream Horse photos in our Gallery here and here. To view the official movie poster and trailer, click here. Dream Horse opens in the UK on April 17, 2020 and in the USA on May 1, 2020. Check your local listings!

The film tells the true story of Jan Vokes, (Academy Award® nominee Toni Collette) a Welsh cleaner and bartender, who decides to breed and rear a race horse. One night, a chance encounter with an arrogant customer, Howard Davies (Damian Lewis), a former racehorse syndicate leader, inspires her to take on a new challenge. She persuades her neighbors and friends to contribute financially to the scheme. The group’s unlikely investment plan pays off as the horse rises through the ranks and puts them in a race for the national championship.

Continue reading Dream Horse Video Clip – Jan 24, 2020

Categories Behind the Scenes Dream Horse Print Media

The Inspiring Story of a Welsh Racehorse – March 16, 2019

Dream Horse: The True Rags-to-Riches Story of Dream Alliance

by Kathryn Williams | Wales Online | March 15, 2019

The champion racehorse horse Dream Alliance

We reported earlier that Damian would be staring in the upcoming film Dream Horse here. If you don’t know the story of South Wales champion racehorse Dream Alliance already, you should.

It’s an inspiring tale and now it’s being given the big screen treatment starring Homeland and Billions-star, Damian Lewis, and Hereditary and Muriel’s Wedding actress, Toni Collette.

Named Dream Horse, the film will shoot on location in Wales this spring and will also be directed by Welsh filmmaker Euros Lyn, famed for TV drama gold like Broadchurch, Happy Valley and Kiri.

Dream Horse will share the story of Dream Alliance who was bred and owned by a group of friends from a Cefn Fforest workingmen’s club.

From raising the steed on a slag heap in the Caerphilly borough to winning the Welsh Grand National – and slicing a tendon and undergoing stem cell therapy in between – it focuses on the true rags-to-riches story of Dream Alliance, who owners include Jan Vokes, her husband Brian and tax advisor Howard Davies.

Collette is due to play Jan Vokes, who along with her fellow syndicate members paid in £10 per week for the horse’s training, and Lewis will play Howard Davies.

Continue reading The Inspiring Story of a Welsh Racehorse – March 16, 2019

Categories Dream Horse In Development/ Pre-Production TV/Film Projects

Damian to Star as Lead Cast in UK Race Horse Feature – March 13, 2019

Off to the Races: Dream Horse

by Andreas Wiseman | Deadline | March 13, 2019

EXCLUSIVELittle Miss Sunshine star Toni Collette and Homeland star Damian Lewis are to lead cast in UK race horse feature Dream Horse for American Animals and Three Identical Strangers outfit Raw.

Euros Lyn, director on Sherlock, Happy Valley and Black Mirror, is helming the true story about a woman’s dream to breed and raise a champion racehorse on the allotment of her modest Welsh village. Hereditary star Collette will take the lead role of Jan Vokes, a middle-aged barmaid at a working men’s club who recruits her initially reluctant husband Brian and local accountant Howard Davies (Lewis) to help her bring together a syndicate of local people to breed a foal – which they name Dream Alliance. On the racetrack, he proves himself to be more than a match for the multi-million pound racehorses he comes up against, transforming the lives of those around him.

Continue reading Damian to Star as Lead Cast in UK Race Horse Feature – March 13, 2019