August 10, 2020

South African Slavery Drama ‘Chain of Voices’ Backed by Fight to Fame – Variety


In today’s film news roundup, South African drama “A Chain of Voices” gets financing, Korean drama “Yourself and Yours” gets a home and “Hope Gap” is coming to digital a month early.

MOVIE FINANCING

The Fight to Fame group will finance “A Chain of Voices,” a feature film based on the novel of the same name by South African author André Brin. Cinema Libre Studio will produce the film along with with Moja Media, Variety has learned exclusively.

The screenplay was written by Jay Cocks, who received Academy Award screenplay nominations for “The Age of Innocence” and “Gangs of New York.” A new entity, Cinema Libre Studio South Africa, will be formed between Cinema Libre Studio and Moja Media to produce this film and other content. Moja Media is represented by Marius Fransman, who has held various government positions in South Africa.

“A Chain of Voices,” published in 1982, depicts life during slavery in the Cape Town region. A young slave, Galant, leads a revolt, which will bring the eventual end of slavery and its violence in South Africa.

Cinema Libre chairman Philippe Diaz said, “Partnering with Marius was a dream come true. I bought the rights of André Brink’s novel almost 30 years ago and Martin Scorsese introduced me to Jay Cocks, who wrote a marvelous script. Unfortunately, I never found the right partner as it has to be shot in South Africa. It will be a significant movie during these times of social upheaval since it’s the story of a man who will change the course of history because of an impossible love.”

The partnership will also bring the Fight to Fame global platform to South Africa with plans to develop a TV show “Africa’s Best Actor” with winners given roles in “A Chain of Voices.”

ACQUISTION

Cinema Guild has bought U.S. distribution rights for Hong Sangsoo’s “Yourself and Yours,” and will release the mystery on June 6  as part of its digital cinema initiative.

The Korean film, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, follows a man who learns that his girlfriend was recently having drinks with another man. They soon break up, and the man can no longer find his ex as she has a series of encounters with other suitors.

“We’ve been huge fans of ‘Yourself and Yours’ since the first time we saw it,” said Cinema Guild president Peter Kelly. “It’s such a pleasure to be bringing it to audiences in the U.S.”

The deal was negotiated by Peter Kelly of Cinema Guild with Youngjoo Suh of Finecut.

RELEASE PLANS

Screen Media Ventures will move the digital release for its British drama “Hope Gap” starring Annette Bening, Josh O’ Connor, and Bill Nighy, up four weeks to May 8, 2020.

Screen Media and Roadside Attractions partnered to acquire the film last year with a world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Roadside Attractions released the film on March 5 with a planned expansion that was cut short as theaters were shut down across the country.

“Hope Gap,” directed by William Nicholson, centers on the aftermath of Nighy’s character telling his wife of 29 years that he plans to leave her that same day. David M. Thompson and Sarada McDermott are the producers.



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