The deal was negotiated by Picturehouse’s acquisitions manager, Paul Ridd, and Great Point’s head of sales, Nada Cirjanic, at Sundance, where the well-received film opened the World Dramatic Competition.
Amoo’s (“Dear Mr. Shakespeare”) movie is semi-autobiographical and follows a British-Nigerian boy, Femi, who moves from a white rural community to a diverse and deprived London neighborhood. Femi has to figure out which path to adulthood he wants to take, and what it means to be a young black man in London in the early 2000s.
“The coming-of-age saga that ensues thoughtfully alternates universal adolescent insecurities with urgently specific minority politics,” Variety said in its review.
Picturehouse has taken all U.K. rights to the film. “We’ve been fans of Shola’s bold, distinctive work for some time now,” said joint managing director Clare Binns. “It was such a thrill to see his new work at Sundance, a beautifully shot, big-screen film full of compassion and empathy.”
Developed by Lee Thomas and produced through Prodigal together with producer Myf Hopkins, “The Last Tree” was supported by the BFI with National Lottery funding. The BFI’s Lizzie Francke and Great Point Media’s Robert Halmi and Jim Reeve are the executive producers.
“We couldn’t have wished for a better U.K. distribution partner for ‘The Last Tree,’ and we’re delighted that Picturehouse Entertainment will be bringing Shola’s evocative, universal story to a nationwide audience,” Thomas and Hopkins said.
Francke added that Amoo is “a unique voice and a special talent who has created a very moving story, which, although very personal, will connect with audiences around the world.”
Great Point will be continuing the sales effort on “The Last Tree” at the EFM in Berlin.