Mipcom will kick off with an opening-night gala screening of Entertainment One’s “The Book of Negroes,” a sweeping six-part miniseries charting the life of Aminata Diallo, a West African woman sold into slavery during the 18th century whose indomitable spirit ultimately secures her freedom. Based on the bestselling novel by Lawrence Hill, the smallscreen version, co-written and helmed by Clement Virgo, spans three continents over the course of 50 years, and features such key players as Aunjanue Ellis (in the role of Diallo) and Oscar winners Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lou Gossett Jr.
“Our biggest challenge was to translate the power of the novel into six compelling hours of television,” say Virgo and executive producer Damon D’Oliveira of Conquering Lion Pictures. “Finding an actress that could lead us through his journey was a huge challenge, but when we met Aunjanue Ellis (we) knew we’d found our lead. She brings a thoughtful interpretation and depth of personal experience to the role.”
Per eOne executive producer Carrie Stein, “The Book of Negroes” presents a rare opportunity to see a black female heroine in a historic series.
“Aminata takes us on this journey of survival and perseverance in the face of adversity,” says Stein, “and it’s through her experience that we’re able to feel the pain and desperation of all of these slaves.”