Gugu Mbatha Raw to be ‘Belle’ of the ball
- Amma Asante’s follow up to A Way Of Life commences in September
British director Amma Asante, winner of the Carl Foreman Award for the Most Promising Newcomer BAFTA and Best Director at the BAFTA Awards, Wales, for her debut feature A Way Of Life [+see also:
film profile], will commence principal photography on her next film Belle on September 24. The shoot will be spread over seven weeks across The Isle of Man, London, Oxford and Pinewood Studios. Gugu Mbatha Raw (photo) will star in the title role, alongside a cast including Sam Reid, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Penelope Wilton, Tom Felton and James Norton.
Inspired by a 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle, and her life story, Belle tells the tale of a mixed–race girl raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th Century England. Battling social prejudice against the backdrop of a controversial slavery case, Belle follows the love story of Dido Belle (Gugu Mbatha Raw) and John Davinier (Sam Reid), in a world where one of England’s most powerful men stands between them.
Produced by Damian Jones (The Iron Lady [+see also:
film profile]), Belle is a DJ Films production, presented by Isle of Man Film, Pinewood Films and the BFI, in association with Head Gear Films and Metrol Technology. Jones said, “This is an important story which still has great resonance today. Amma has created a powerful tale inspired by true historical events and adds a fresh and unique twist to this Jane Austen-esque romance.”
Bankside Films is handling worldwide sales. CinemaNX will distribute in the UK. Pre-sales concluded by Bankside include Benelux Film Distributors in Benelux, Rialto in Switzerland, and Bonton in Czech Republic.
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