Regional distributor, Film One continues to lead effort to bring Nigerian stories with global appeal to the big screen.
Leading movie distributor, Film One has announced that it will be releasing the acclaimed British drama Farming in West Africa on 25th October, 2019 in association with Accelerate TV and Stunt Group.
The feature is a fascinating true story about a Nigerian boy’s search for identity and belonging, within a savage skinhead subculture in 1980s Britain. The term ‘farming’ refers to the practice of Nigerian parents who paid white families to foster their children in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, while they worked or studied.
Nigerian-British actor and writer Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje makes his directorial debut with a film about his own life, growing up with a white working class family in the UK. Young Damson Idris, star of FX series Snowfall, plays Enitan, a fostered Nigerian boy, whose self-hatred leads him to join a skinhead gang while searching for his own identity in 1980s England.
Akinnuoye-Agbaje was determined to get the film made. He entered the Sundance Labs in 2006 and was awarded the Annenberg Film Fellowship Grant with a $25k fund. Later, he joined the Sundance Festival’s Producers and Directors Lab and continued to develop the project.
He adds, “This was a huge boost of encouragement because I was a first-time screenwriter. Here in Britain, we know a lot about the history of slavery, civil rights and the African-American experience. But very little is known about the Black British struggle. This is just one of our stories.”
The film features a stellar cast, including Kate Beckinsale, John Dagleish, GuguMbatha-Raw, Jaime Winstone and Nigeria’s Genevieve Nnaji. Beckinsale, star of Pearl Harbor, Serendipity, Underworld and Total Recall, plays Enitan’s foster mother and Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Concussion and Beauty & the Beast) portrays a benevolent teacher who offers him one last chance at redemption. Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who has appeared in more than 50 productions, including The Bourne Identity, Thor, Suicide Squad and Game of Thrones, plays his own father.
Farming won the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at the 2019 Edinburgh International Film Festival in June. Damson Idris won the award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film at the festival.
According to Moses Babatope, Managing Director, Film-One, the film is an important one for the region. “We have so many stories that need to be told. Many, like Farming, have relevance beyond Africa and affect the history and culture of other countries where there is a Nigerian diaspora. We want to ensure that audiences in west Africa get to watch movies that shift the conversation around our impact on the world.”
Farming will be released in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia cinemas from October 25 following its U.K launch from October 11 handled by Lions-gate U.K.