Surprised by Oxford Theatrical Event Release


Carolyn Weber’s Remarkable Memoir-Turned-Movie Surprised by Oxford Sets Limited Global Theatrical Event Release on September 27 & October 1


The highly anticipated film features cast from The Crown, Downton Abbey, Bridgerton, and The Morning Show, and a special cinema exclusive conversation with Carolyn Weber and author, podcaster and speaker Annie F. Downs.

Based on the award-winning memoir, Surprised by Oxford is the incredible true story of Caro Drake, a young, headstrong American who lands a coveted scholarship to the University of Oxford for her postgraduate studies. Burdened with trust issues and intellectually hostile towards the abstract, Caro begins her time in Oxford with the singular goal of attaining her PhD. But through a tempestuous friendship with a charming young man and the wise counsel of the college’s first female provost, Caro begins to open herself up to mystery, vulnerability, and the possibility of love.

Surprised by Oxford invites audiences into a world of romance, reason, and high calling. The true-life story of college-aged American Caro Drake is a wonder-filled exploration of life’s beauty and complexity, experienced in a manner not entirely dissimilar to C.S. Lewis’s famous awakening nearly a century ago in the hallowed halls of Oxford, England.

This special screening includes a conversation between bestselling author Carolyn Weber and author, podcaster and speaker Annie F. Downs, recorded exclusively for movie theatre audiences. Full of love and laughter, hear Carolyn and Annie discuss the significance of the book and the journey from the page to the screen.



Denver, CO - August 3, 2023 - Trafalgar Releasing, Evolve Studios, and Nook Lane Entertainment have announced the upcoming release of the highly anticipated film Surprised by Oxford as a limited global theatrical engagement in cinemas on September 27 and October 1. Directed and written by Ryan Whitaker, the movie boasts a notable ensemble cast, including actors from acclaimed television series The Crown, Bridgerton, and Downton Abbey. Surprised by Oxford recently premiered in a featured slot at the Heartland Film Festival, where it captivated audiences.

Surprised by Oxford is a cinematic experience that seamlessly blends the allure of Oxford’s historic architecture with a captivating narrative of self-discovery, friendship, and love. Tickets are available now at

Based on Carolyn Weber’s memoir, Surprised by Oxford follows the journey of Caro Drake, a driven and guarded young woman determined to achieve her PhD at the prestigious Oxford University. Headlined by Rose Reid (Finding You, The Shift), the film takes viewers on a transformative and tumultuous journey as Caro begins an unexpected friendship with a charming young man, played by Ruairi O’Connor (The Morning Show), which propels her on a profound exploration of mystery, vulnerability, and love.

Surprised by Oxford features Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey), Mark Williams (Harry Potter films), and Simon Callow (Hawkeye, Shakespeare In Love) in pivotal roles. Emma Naomi (Bridgerton), Michael Culkin (The Crown, Poldark), Annabelle Holloway (The Walking Dead, Ordinary Joe), Lourdes Faberes (No Time to Die, Boiling Point), Ed Stoppard (The Crown, Judy), and Tyler Merritt (The Falcon and The Winter Soldier) also appear.

Whitaker expressed his gratitude for the outstanding cast and crew that brought Carolyn Weber’s story to life, against the breathtaking backdrop of Oxford. “I was captivated by Carolyn’s memoir when I first read it, and immediately saw its clear potential as a film. It’s been an honor to travel to Oxford to tell her story on screen,” said Whitaker.

“Our cast and crew delivered in an exemplary way,” said Producer Ken Carpenter of Nook Lane Entertainment. “Working in Oxford was a charmed experience. The fusion of our American team with our British colleagues–on both sides of the camera–helped shape a story that audiences are finding both thoughtful and engaging,” Carpenter said.

“Working closely with Carolyn and Rose to tell this uniquely strong female story was very personally gratifying” said producer and Evolve Studio’s Jen Lewis.

“We’re thrilled to distribute Surprised by Oxford to movie theaters worldwide,” said Kymberli Frueh, SVP for Programming and Content Acquisitions for Trafalgar Releasing. “ This best selling book has C.S. Lewis, faith and romantic elements blended together as a perfect film. This is definitely an event to add to your “must see” this Fall .”

Surprised by Oxford invites audiences into a world of romance, reason, and high calling. The true-life story of college-aged American Caro Drake is a wonder-filled exploration of life’s beauty and complexity, experienced in a manner not entirely dissimilar to C.S. Lewis’s famous awakening nearly a century ago in the hallowed halls of Oxford, England.

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Trafalgar Releasing, the global leader in event cinema distribution, harnesses the power of cinema to bring fans together in more than 13,000 locations in 132 countries worldwide.  A subsidiary of Trafalgar Entertainment, Trafalgar Releasing’s worldwide operations include production, acquisition, marketing, and distribution of live or pre-recorded content to cinemas led by an international team of specialists. Featuring live concerts, music documentaries, world-class opera, award-winning theatre, and more from leading names in entertainment such as BTS, Metallica, Oasis, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, George Michael, Twenty One Pilots, the Royal Opera House and others, Trafalgar Releasing has repeatedly shattered event cinema box office records, most recently with BTS: Yet To Come in Cinemas which grossed more than $53M at the global box office. Information about Trafalgar Releasing can be found at 


Evolve Studios is an independent full-service production studio from Nashville, Tennessee that produces a vast range of content including features films, documentaries, episodic series, trailers, branded storytelling, commercials & advertising promos. Evolve’s work has been recognized with numerous accolades including six Television Academy Emmy Awards and over Emmy fifty nominations. Surprised by Oxford is the studio’s second feature film.


Ken Carpenter’s Nook Lane Entertainment most recently produced The Shift (Neal McDonough, Sean Astin, Elizabeth Tabish), the next theatrical release from Angel Studios. Nook Lane also produced Finding You (Vanessa Redgrave, Rose Reid) in Ireland, released by Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate/Amazon Prime.


London-based Ascendant Fox was founded by producers Bart Ruspoli and Hester Ruoff. Ruspoli and Ruoff recently produced indie breakout Boiling Point (Stephen Graham, Vinette Robinson, Hannah Walters, Ray Panthaki), which was nominated for four BAFTA Awards, and their next movie, Gassed Up, with Stephen Odubola and Taz Skylar is in conjunction with Amazon Prime.


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