The Baker

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Basic Info

Project Phase: Completed

Genre: Comedy

Filmed: Late March – mid-May 2006

Release Date: 2007 ?

Production Co’s: Picture Farm, Grandville Pictures

Distributor: Bankside Films

Damian Lewis (Milo), Kate Ashfield (Rhiannon), Michael Gambon (Leo), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Bjorn)

Crew: Gareth Lewis (Director & Screenwriter), Adrian Sturges (Producer),
Damian Lewis (Producer), Justin Williams (Producer), Dan Shepherd (Producer), Alex Wurman (Composer)


Can’t sleep? Hate your job? Hate the city? Kill people for a living? Meet Milo – he
knows how you feel.

Milo’s a hit-man on the edge. When something snaps inside his head and he fails to
fulfil a contract, he has to escape the city to avoid the wrath of his employers.

Pursued by a ruthless colleague with a thing for rubber gloves, he hides out in a
remote Welsh village, where he is mistaken for the new baker.

Forced to bake to
maintain the cover, what he discovers is nothing short of a revelation – when he
bakes, all his worries seem to disappear. Baking is therapy.

When sparks fly with the beautiful local vet, he decides to start a new life as a baker.

But as the villagers discover his true identity and start ordering hits on one another,
things start to get messy. He’s about to discover that you can’t have your cake and
eat it.

Source (PDF File)


BBC Onset video clip
GMTV Entertainment
Today clip


Berlin Inter’l Film Fest
(9 &14 Feb 2007)
Cannes Film Market
(18 May 2007)
Tremblant Film Festival
(21 & 23 June 2007)
Monmouthshire, Wales
(21 July 2007)

Awards and Nominations

Gareth Lewis – Best Director (Won) Tremblant Film Festival

Additional Links

Bankside Films
BBC Onset Clip
Film Score Clips
Gareth Lewis Bio
Gareth Lewis’s short film Tears of a Clown

Gareth Lewis’s short film Normal For Norfolk

News & Notes

28 March 2003 – The
Berlinale Talent Campus page on producer Adrian Sturges lists Shakespeare’s Cake as an upcoming project.
It has this brief description: “Welsh film comedy, writter/director Gareth Lewis, to star Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers), financed (to be confirmed) by Sgrin and
Arts Council of Wales.” Sturges is a film and tv producer for Picture Farm Limited.

11 April 2003 –
The April 11 Evening Standard article on Damian Lewis reports that he “plans to executive produce and star in his brother’s debut feature, Shakespeare’s Cake, later this year” with Gareth Lewis as
screenwriter and director.

22 May 2003 –
Damian Lewis describes the film to the Daily Express saying that “I’m actually playing a Welshman in a film called Shakespeare’s Cake which is being made by my brother Gareth. I’m supposed to be a hitman who unwittingly becomes the village baker. Dark comedy you know.”

09 December 2003 –
The December 9 Daily Telegraph article on Damian Lewis says that “in the spring, he’s
producing Shakespeare’s Cake, with his writer and director
brother Gareth.”

19 April 2004 –
An article on the the Irish Film and Television website reports that Gareth Lewis participated
in Moonstone International’s Filmmakers’ Lab, a 15 day workshop held between
2 and 16 February in Scotland where directors collaborated with “actors
and crews to rehearse, shoot, edit and screen key scenes from their
feature film project …”.

30 April 2004 –
Gareth Lewis has a short film to his credit: The Tears of a Clown.
In-movies has this synopsis of the film: “Burger and chips, sausage and chips, and burger and chips. Stevie’s life, like his burger van, is saturated with chip fat. Life in a lay-by is far from ideal, and Stevie is determined that his kids will have better. So when he sees his chance he grabs it with both hands, with devastating consequences for him and his family.”

05 May 2004 –
A little more about Gareth Lewis’ short film, The Tears of a
: “a bank job goes perfectly and the three felons, disguised as clowns, find themselves considerably richer. But as we all know, crime does not pay and no amount of money could repair the damage that the heist causes to one of the criminal’s family. Lewis’ film is masterfully shot, the imagery and symbolism creating a tense and ominous atmosphere which is only broken by the intensely tragic final scene.”

07 June 2004 –
An interview in the July 2004 issue of Eve Magazine briefly mentions how Damian Lewis
plans to star in and produce Gareth’s film Shakespeare’s Cake in the summer.

09 June 2004 –
Moonstone International‘s Project Catalogue 2002/3 includes a page on Shakespeare’s Cake. According to the catalogue, the film is being
produced by Adrian Struges (Picture Farm) and co-produced by Guy East and Nigel Sinclair (Spitfire Pictures),
has been in development for 4 years now, and is still seeking finance and a distributor. Shooting is scheduled for early 2004 and Gareth will direct; Damian will will play the lead role. Here a synopsis of the film:

“A stressed out hitman in search of the good life retires to a village in Wales to open a bakery. But he soon discovers you can’t shake off the past that easily. With villagers showing distinctly homicidal tendencies, and his former associates hot on his trail, this bucolic dream is fast turning into a nightmare.”

The Catalogue also notes that Garth Lewis participated in the Screenwriters’ Lab that took place in Llandudno, Wales
from November 11-17, 2003.

22 June 2004 – Moonstone International’s
Marketing department respond to KathyV’s inquiries saying that “this film project is still in development, but is due to go into production
within the next year.”

05 July 2004 -The Posh Rough site recieved updates from an assistant to Damian Lewis. According to the site the film is “currently in stages of casting and
raising finance. Filming anticipated to start in September. Damian
stars as a hit man who attempts to retire and become a baker in a
small Welsh town. Damian’s brother, Gareth, is both writer and
director. Film may end up being called The Baker.”

21 November 2004 – Moonstone International‘s
Project Catalogue 2003/4 includes new details about the film.

The film is now being called The Baker and in advanced stages
of development with shooting scheduled for late 2004. The film has had “development finance
from the Arts Council of wales” but is listed as still seeking finance and distributor.

Two images
are included (here and here) from what was probably the Filmmakers’ Lab held February of this year. Tha catalogue lists Gareth and
Damian Lewis as participants at the Filmmakers’ Lab that was
held in Dryman, Scotland from 2-16 February 2004.

There’s also
this a new and more detailed synopsis:

“A hit-man is forced to flee from a remote village in Wales after his
morals get the better of him, and is mistaken for the new village
baker. He maintains the charade, only to discover that when he bakes
all his worries seem to just disappear. When romance also blossoms
with the feisty but beautiful local vet, it seems he has finally
found his place in the world. But he soon discovers you can’t shake
off the past that easily. With the wacky villagers requesting ‘hits’
on family and friends, and former associates hot on his trail, this
rural paradise is fast revealing itself to be something very

22 November 2004 –
The Evening Standard reports that Damian Lewis will soon begin filming the title character in the film The Baker (formerly titled Shakespeare’s Cake). The article also says that Sophia Myles (his Escape from Colditz co-star) and Michael Gambon may join cast.

05 December 2004 –
In a BBC interview from this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival, producer Adrian Sturges talks briefly about
Picture Farm, one of the production companies behind The Baker. He says Damian Lewis
is involved and has a “production role” in the company.

13 January 2005 –
In message to fans,
Damian Lewis tells us that they are continuing to raise finances for The Baker
and would keep us posted.

14 May 2005 –
In the May 14 Electronic Telegraph, Damian Lewis says that at Cannes he’s “doing business with my new production company, Picture Farm.” Picture Farm is the production company behind The Baker.

17 May 2005 –
Damian Lewis was interviewed from Cannes on ITV’s This Morning today and briefly discussed The Baker. He said
he has his “producer’s hat on” and –

“mixing a little bit of the glamour of the actor with the general squalor of being a fledgling producer and staying in damp hotel rooms miles away from where it matters … I have a project out here called The Baker with my brother Gareth Lewis which he wrote and he’s going to direct and my partner Adrian Sturges …” (Click here for a download of the interview.)

19 May 2005 –
The Electronic Telegraph reports on Damian Lewis’
efforts to find funding for The Baker:

“Even the cream of the British film industry are reliant on bumping
into the right person at the Cannes Film Festival in order to fund
their next venture.

So when Spy chanced on actor Damian Lewis and his brother Gareth
aboard the British Luxury Council’s yacht, my curiosity was aroused.
‘We’re trying to get one of our new films funded,’ Gareth tells
me. ‘It’s called The Baker, and it’s about a hit man who moves to a
remote town in Wales and takes a job as a baker. Once there, though,
it turns out that almost all the inhabitants actually want someone

The film will be produced by Picture Farm, the Old Etonians’
production company with Adrian Sturges and Rupert Wyatt. ‘What we
need now are some very beautiful women on our arms to attract the
millionaires,’ Damian adds flippantly.”

24 May 2005 –
The Berlinale Talent Campus website has a new page with background information on Adrian Sturges, a producer at Picture Farm.

29 May 2005 –
Producer Adrian Sturges has provided an update on the status of the film along with this synopsis and a look at the film’s logo (a dead cookie cutter man):

“…We have been working hard on
putting together THE BAKER and are making excellent progress. Damian
and I were in Cannes taking meetings with potential financiers and
distributors and I’m currently following up with some of them. I’ve
attached a short synopsis of the story and some stuff on the cast.
We can’t publish details yet on when we’ll shoot yet or the rest of
the cast but if you check in with me in about a month I should have
some more info.”

02 June 2005 –
Click here for background information on producer Adrian Sturges from the Cambridge Footlights site.

16 September 2005 –
According to this Gareth Lewis page on the AP Watt website, The Baker is scheduled to shoot in late 2005. (Damian will be starring on stage in Pillars of the Community during this time!) It also says Emily Mortimer (not Sophia Myles) is attached to star.

22 October 2005 –
In an interview with Damian Lewis, the October 22 issue of Telegraph Magazine mentions that
Picture Farm “has just received funding for it’s first film, The Baker (Lewis wil both star and co-produce).”

24 October 2005 –
Western Mail has a short article on the The Baker and says it “is set to provide Wales with its first homegrown big-budget gangster film” and describes the film as about a ” ‘sensitive hitman’ called Milo who turns his back on killing and, with the Mob hard on his heels, flees to Wales where he is mistaken for a new baker and attempts to rebuild his life.”

25 November 2005 – Damian Lewis told fans who met him after a performance of POTC that The Baker is due to start filming in March but that may be “subject to change.”

02 December 2005 – Damian’s assistant updated the group with news of The Baker and says he will begin filming the project at the end of March!

10 January 2006 – Plans to begin shooting The Baker in Wales at the end of March are on schedule. The film should be completed by late 2006 and released in 2007.

17 February 2006 – Damian’s personal assistant updated the group with news of The Baker again and says production will start in Wales this week for an 11-week period.

23 February 2006 –The Baker is briefly discussed in an LA Times interview with Damian Lewis:

“He has also branched out from acting to sign on as a director of a production company, Picture Farm Ltd., that includes his brother Gareth, Rupert Wyatt and Adrian Sturges …

Their first feature film will be The Baker, written by Gareth and starring Damian as a sensitive hit man who tries to build a new life as a village baker. ‘I sat at every coffee table in Cannes for 10 days pitching it with Adrian, trying to get people interested. Now it’s greenlit [by European backers], and we’re going to shoot it in March,’ Lewis said.”

18 March 2006 –
News posted at the The Dench Arnold Agency about the Australian production designer for The Baker confirms that the movie will be filmed in Cardiff and that Michael Gambon is a member of the cast.

24 March 2006 – This Empire article here (Source: Variety) confirms that Michael Gambon will appear in The Baker along with Kate Ashfield and that filming begins in Wales next week.

26 March 2006 –
The Variety article about the Gambon signing has a few more details:

“Harry Potter” star Michael Gambon has joined the cast of comedy “The Baker,” which is the feature debut for writer-director Gareth Lewis.

Gareth’s brother, Damian Lewis (“Stormbreaker”) plays Milo in the pic, about a hit man who flees his overlords when he can’t go through with a whack. Milo hides out in a remote Welsh village and works as a baker. He soon falls for local vet (Kate Ashfield) but cannot escape his past.

The Grandville Pictures and Picture Farm production begins principal photography in south Wales for six weeks on March 27. Damian Lewis produces alongside Adrian Sturges, Justin Williams and Dan Shepherd.

Speaking of the collaboration with his helming bro, Damian said, “It’s a great feeling to be working with him as one of his producers. I am just getting my head around being bossed about by him as one of his actors.”

According to a poster at the Damian Lewis IMDB board, Lewis has been spotted recently in Cardiff, Wales in connection with the production of The Baker.

30 March 2006 –The Baker now has an IMDB page.

31 March 2006 – Another article related to The Baker‘s filming start.

03 April 2006 –
This article about The Baker says that filming in Wales over the next several weeks will not only take place in Cardiff but also in the village of Grosmont, Monmouth.

09 April 2006 –
An Adrian Sturges-produced film Only Human will soon be released by Keane distributor Magnolia Pictures. Perhaps good news for those who want to see The Baker released in the US!

11 April 2006 – Click here to read an update from Adrian Sturges, The Baker‘s producer! He also sends us a copy of the bio for the production company and a press release for the film. He also notes that Gareth’s new short film Normal for Norfolk is produced by Damian and Adrian.

12 April 2006 –
Click here for the BBC’s report that includes an onset video clip of The Baker. Click here to download it to your computer.

14 April 2006 – IMDB has updated it’s cast list for The Baker.

The Welsh Screen Commission posted an article on The Baker.

17 April 2006 – The Director of Photography for The Baker, Sean Bobbitt, also worked on the Damian Lewis films The Situation, Normal for Norfolk (Damian Lewis has a producer credit on this one), and Jeffrey Archer: The Truth.

19 April 2006 – The website This is Gwent has an article about filming scenes for The Baker in a pub located in the Welsh village of Grosmont in Monmouthshire.

19 April 2006 – According to Ebay, an unnamed newspaper magazine with Jeff Bridges on the cover included a report about the filming of The Baker.

21 April 2006 –
The Times Online has a nice article on Damian Lewis and the filming of The Baker. There are interesting comments by producer Justin Williams who reveals that “they’ve already turned down advanced UK distribution deals, saving the finished product for more lucrative mainstream offers” and describes the film as “very commercial!”

23 April 2006 –
This is Monmouthshire has an article on the filming that’s underway in Monmouthshire village for the next two weeks and includes information on locations and this nice picture.

25 April 2006 – This is Gwent has another article on the filming of The Baker.

28 April 2006 –
According to an article in This is Herefordshire, filming of The Baker in Grosmont will end next week. (Filming is scheduled to continue through mid-May but so far we don’t know the next location.)

5 May 2006 –
This report at the B3Burgess website describes the filming of the gunfight scene in The Baker at the Castle Buildings in Cardiff. The report is accompanied by flash photos including this picture of Damian Lewis. According to the writer the film will be released in January 2007!

7 May 2006 –
The Western Mail has a fantastic article about filming The Baker in Wales, including interviews with Gareth and Damian Lewis!

15 May 2006 – According to Damian’s assistant, The Baker has finished principle photography; no release date has been set.

21 July 2006 – A short on-set clip of The Baker was shown as Damian Lewis briefly discussed it on GMTV Entertainment Today. Click here for a download of the GMTV segment.

27 July 2006 – Damian’s personal assistant emailed with news of The Baker and said it was still being edited and won’t be finished till October.

16 September 2006 – Producer Adrian Sturges sent updates on the films he is producing with Damian Lewis, The Baker and Normal for Norfolk.
» The Baker is still in post-production and American
composer Alex Wurman is scoring the film.
» Normal for Norfolk, a short film also written and directed by Gareth Lewis, has been selected for the 2006 Cardiff Film Festival. The film premiered at the Edinburgh festival last month and screened at the BAFTA in
London this past Monday.

10 November 2006 – According to an update received from producer Adrian Sturges, The Baker is nearly finished and are in the process of producing the show prints of the film and a version on video to show to sales agents at the end of the month.

11 November 2006 – According to and update received from Damian’s assistant Melissa, The Baker is “in the can” and will be presented to sales agents in late November.

15 November 2006 – The Summer 2006 edition of Fugi’s Exposure Magazine includes production notes (PDF file format) for The Baker along with a few photos of Damian and Gareth Lewis.

27 January 2007 – The Baker will screen on the 9th and 14th of February at the Berlin International Film Festival as part of the European Film Market! The site indicates Bankside Films is the distributor.

03 February 2007 – From the Feb 2 issue of Screen Daily: …The company (Bankside Films) launches at Berlin’s European Film Market with a full slate of projects from pre-production to completion. Bankside just acquired The Baker, a Wales-set comedy starring Damian Lewis that was written and directed by his brother Gareth…(Stephen) Kelliher says that light-hearted films such as these should appeal to buyers. “Something like The Baker has a real chance – it’s a comedy and it’s British but at the same time it’s very universal…One thing we noticed at AFM is that people want happy, feel-good films, not just comedies but life-affirming films.”

25 Apr 2007 – In a message sent to his Yahoo! Group fans Damian Lewis indicated that The Baker has not yet finalized a distribution agreement.

03 May 2007 – Click here for a photo of the cast and crew of The Baker.

11 May 2007 – Bankside Films has unveiled their official
site for The Baker.

20 May 2007 – Variety confirms that The Baker screened at the Cannes Film Market on May 18th and shows the length of the film as “85 mins.”

16 June 2007 – Per the Montreal Gazette Daniaile Jarry (the program director for the Tremblant Film Festival) is “nuts about Gareth Lewis’s Welsh-British comedy The Baker” which screens at the festival on June 21st and 23rd.

25 June 2007 – Gareth Lewis has been named “Best Director” by the Tremblant Film Festival for his debut feature film The Baker starring Damian Lewis!

27 June 2007 – On July 21st a preview screening of The Baker will be held in Monmouthshire Wales where much of the film was shot; proceeds will be used to fund repairs for the village church.