Danny Glover has teamed with screenwriter Joslyn Barnes to form Gotham-based Louverture Films.
Their goal is to make six independently financed features and docs over the next three years, focusing on global African experiences.
The venture will begin with “Toussaint,” a biopic of Haitian revolution hero Toussaint Louverture that will mark Glover’s feature directing debut. Production will start in April 2006, shooting in Mozambique and South Africa.
Scripted by Barnes and Vijay Balakrishnan, “Toussaint” tells the story of Louverture, who led one of the few successful slave uprisings in history. The slaves defeated French, Spanish and British armies and established the first independent black republic, naming Louverture president for life. He was captured and imprisoned by the French and died a year later.
Glover and Barnes plan to follow with “No Fear,” a Barnes-scripted film about Marsha Coleman-Adebayo. She waged a groundbreaking racial discrimination case after being ostracized and persecuted for blowing the whistle on U.S. corporate wrongdoing in South Africa.
Louverture also is developing an adaptation of “God’s Bits of Wood,” Ousmane Sembene’s book about a 1947 strike in Senegal by African railroad workers. Pic will be shot in Africa.
Glover, who will raise funds for all the projects, said the venture was hatched specifically to focus on the underserved genre of Afrocentric history and to provide opportunities for minorities.
Glover previously directed “Just a Dream” for Showtime in 2002.
Barnes scripted the Cheikh Oumar Sissoko-directed “Battu” and before that was a consultant for the United Nations.