Andrea Calderwood’s London-based production outfit Slate Films is pushing three projects to shoot within the next year.
Robert Carlyle is attached to star in John McKenzie’s “Benny Lynch,” based on the true story of the champion boxer from Glasgow in the 1930s. The $6.5 million project, scripted by Frank Deasy, has been developed with BBC Scotland.
Chewitel Ejiofor (“Dirty Pretty Things”) will take the lead in “Girls at War,” based on a book by Nigerian Nobel Prize winner Chinua Achebe. It’s a love story set in post-independence Nigeria, to be directed by Andrew Dosunmu, N.Y.-based promo helmer and fashion photographer of British-Nigerian extraction.
The $3.5 million project is being developed with FilmFour and the Film Council, and will be co-produced by South Africa’s Avatar Films and France’s Dominant 7.
Paul Laverty, best known as Ken Loach’s regular screenwriter, has penned “Gull,” which will mark the feature debut of veteran docu director Clive Gordon. This $8 million movie is a thriller set in the enclosed world of a tanker on the high seas between Africa and Europe. It’s being co-produced by Juan Gordon of Spain’s Morena Films.
Other projects on Slate’s development roster include an adaptation of Pat Barker’s novel “Border Crossing” by “Lantana” scribe Andrew Bovell; and an original script from “Full Monty” writer Simon Beaufoy about Laurel & Hardy in 1930s Hollywood.
“These are all talent-driven projects, with people who have a strong international profile, and whose work I have admired for a long time,” says Calderwood. “The films show the kind of originality and invention that I think represents the best kind of independent cinema.”