In a pre-Toronto buy, Samuel Goldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions have jointly snapped up domestic distrib rights to Michael Apted’s historical drama “Amazing Grace,” the festival’s closing-night film.
Period pic, about 18th-century British abolitionist William Wilberforce, will be released in the U.S. on Feb. 23, the 200th anniversary of Parliament’s vote to end slavery throughout the British empire.
“Grace” was produced by Walden sister company Bristol Bay Prods. in association with Ingenious Film Partners. Walden Media (“Chronicles of the Narnia”) will oversee a comprehensive marketing initiative, which will include a social justice campaign designed to raise awareness about modern-day slavery, as well as outreach to spiritual and faith-based orgs.
Penned by Steven Knight (“Dirty Pretty Things”) film’s cast is led by Ioan Gruffudd, Albert Finney and Romola Garai.
Lakeshore Entertainment has picked up international rights, and plans to begin selling the movie during Toronto. Film does not yet have a distrib in the U.K.
Producers of “Amazing Grace” are Terrence Malick, Edward Pressman, Patricia Heaton, David Hunt and Ken Wales. Jeanney Kim exec produced.