Pathe cheers on ‘Africa United’

Project centers on group of young soccer fans

LONDON — Having struck gold with India-set “Slumdog Millionaire,” Pathe execs are turning their attention to another part of the developing world with new project “Africa United.”

Principal photography has begun on the project, which will shoot on location in South Africa, Rwanda and Burundi.

Pic follows the story of three Rwandan kids who run away from home in a bid to take part in the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa. Along their epic 3000 mile journey, they gather a team of displaced kids through whose eyes we witness a fresh take on Africa.

Rhidian Brook has written the script with Debs Gardner-Paterson making her feature directorial debut.

Mark Blaney, Jackie Sheppard and Eric Kabera are producing alongside Mark Hubbard and Lance Samuels.

The U.K.-South Africa-Rwanda co-production is being financed by Pathe in association with BBC Films, the U.K. Film Council and the Rwanda Film Commission. Footprint Films and Link Media are producing in association with Out of Africa Entertainment.

Pathe will release the pic in France and in the U.K., where Warner Bros. Pictures U.K. will handle the theatrical release on behalf of the French major. Pathe International is handling international sales.

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