Lionsgate U.K. has acquired “Farming,” one of several international deals for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s directorial debut, which had its world premiere in the Discovery Section at the Toronto Film Festival. HanWay Films, which is handling sales, has also closed deals with Ad Vitam in France, September Films in the Benelux region, Icon in Australasia, and CDC in Latin America and South Korea.
“Farming” starts out in the 1960s and follows Enitan, a young Nigerian boy played by newcomer Damson Idris. He is farmed out by his parents to a white British family in the hope of giving him a better future. Kate Beckinsale plays Enitan’s foster mother; John Dagleish, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jaime Winstone, and Genevieve Nnaji also star.
“The film happened when it was actually meant to in society,” Akinnuoye-Agbaje recently told Variety about the long-gestating, semi-autobiographical project. “Now we’re in a time when diverse voices have a platform. I think the film has been made at the right time…for a voice of this nature to be heard.”
“Farming” is produced by Michael London (“Sideways”), Janice Williams (“Trumbo”), François Ivernel (“Slumdog Millionaire”) and Andrew Levitas (“The White Crow”). It is executive produced by Akinnuoye-Agbaje and co-produced by Miranda Ballesteros. Financiers for the film are Frédéric Fiore of Logical Pictures and Andrew Levitas of Metalwork Pictures.
“Adewale’s debut is an extremely personal look at a moment in time that needs to be seen by everyone,” said Lionsgate U.K. CEO Zygi Kamasa “With a powerful script that brings to life the little-remembered social experiment of the ’60s and transformative performances from the cast, ‘Farming’ is a film that boldly asks questions of society back then, and today.”
HanWay Films MD Gabrielle Stewart added: “It was a powerful experience being part of the first audience response to the film and the filmmaking team’s efforts” in Toronto.