Małgorzata Szumowska (Mug, Body) has finished shooting an Irish-Belgian thriller called The Other Lamb on location in Ireland. The protagonist of the story is a young woman called Selah, who was raised in a religious cult called The Flock. After she takes part in a rite-of-passage ceremony, her view of her congregation and its leader Shepherd’s teachings changes. Selah also starts to experience the sensual and sexual sides of life.

In 2017, the script, written by Catherine S McMullen, was placed on the so-called Black List, which is a repository of the best unrealised screenplays. “What also convinced me to make this film was the fact that it’s produced by people who worked on Whiplash and Nightcrawler, David Lancaster and Stephanie Wilcox,” Szumowska tells Cineuropa.

“I was also attracted by the very strong script and cast, including Raffey Cassidy, who showed huge potential in The Killing of a Sacred Deer. I feel more than prepared to make my first English-language movie, and I am very open to working on a genre film,” the Polish helmer adds.

Szumowska has already worked outside her native Poland – in 2011, she directed Elles, starring Juliette Binoche. She points out that The Other Lamb will have an “American indie” feeling but that it also has a lot of European components, including the support of Screen Ireland. “I brought producers from Zentropa on board,” says Szumowska, who also invited her regular collaborators to get involved: DoP Michał Englert and EFA-winning costume designer Katarzyna Lewińska. Besides Cassidy, who plays the main character, Denise Gough (Colette) and Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones) also star in The Other Lamb.

The full list of producers is as follows: Lancaster and Wilcox (for Rumble Films), Aoife O’Sullivan and Tristan Orpen Lynch (Subotica), and Marie Gade Denessen (Zentropa). Belgian outfit Umedia is serving as a co-producer. The Polish distributor is Kino Świat, and TrustNordisk handles the world sales.