In the 1840s, acclaimed self-taught palaeontologist Mary Anning works alone on the wild and brutal Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis. The days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now hunts for common fossils to sell to rich tourists to support herself and her ailing widowed mother. When one such tourist, Roderick Murchison, arrives in Lyme on the first leg of a European tour, he entrusts Mary with the care of his young wife Charlotte, who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. Mary, whose life is a daily struggle on the poverty line, cannot afford to turn him down but, proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, she clashes with her unwanted guest. They are two women from utterly different worlds. Yet despite the chasm between their social spheres and personalities, Mary and Charlotte discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realisation that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.

Director's Biography

Francis wrote and directed the hugely successful debut feature film GOD'S OWN COUNTRY which was developed and funded by BFI and Creative England and premiered at Sundance 2017 where Francis won Best Director. GOD'S OWN COUNTRY went on to theatrical distribution worldwide, winning many awards including Best Film, Best Debut Screenwriter and Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards; Best Film, Best Actor at the Empire Magazine Awards; Best Film at the Evening Standard Film Awards; the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film; Breakthrough British Filmmaker of the Year at the London Critics Circle Film Awards; BAFTA nomination for Outstanding British Film. GOD'S OWN COUNTRY was the most successful British debut film, both critically and at the box office, for 2017.

Francis was brought up on his parents’ farm on the Pennine Hills in Yorkshire. After an acting career and unable to afford film school, Francis self-financed three short films which he wrote and directed – THE FARMER's WIFE, BRADFORD HALIFAX LONDON and THE LAST SMALLHOLDER. All three films went onto screen at international film festivals winning many awards.

Following the huge critical and box office success of GOD'S OWN COUNTRY, Francis went on to write and direct his second feature film, AMMONITE, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, funded by BBC Films and BFI.


Cast & Crew

Directed by: Francis Lee

Written by: Francis Lee

Produced by: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly

Cinematography: Stéphane Fontaine

Editing: Chris Wyatt

Production Design: Sarah Finlay

Costume Design: Michael O'Connor

Make-Up & Hair: Ivana Primorac

Sound: Johnnie Burn

Cast: Kate Winslet (Mary Anning), Saoirse Ronan (Charlotte Murchison), Fiona Shaw (Elizabeth Philpot), Gemma Jones (Molly Anning), James McArdle (Roderick Murchison), Alec Secareanu (Doctor Lieberson)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Costume Design 2021
  • Feature Film Selection 2021