Rockwell also penned the script for the pic, which begins production next year. It will be produced by Hillman Grad’s Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani, Makeready’s Brad Weston, and Sight Unseen’s Eddie Vaisman and Julia Lebedev. Makeready’s Negin Salmasi, and Sight Unseen’s Oren Moverman and Rachel Jacobs are executive producing. Casting has yet to be announced. Focus Features will distribute the film in the U.S. and Universal Pictures International will distribute it internationally.
“A Thousand and One” centers on a free-spirited woman who tries to redeem herself by kidnapping her six-year-old from the foster care system. Holding onto their secret and each other, mother and son set out to reclaim their home, identity and stability in a rapidly changing New York City.
Rockwell has been named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film for her distinctive voice and has received fellowships from Tribeca Film Institute, the Sundance Institute and the John S. Guggenheim Foundation.
Focus Features Chairman Peter Kujawski said, “A.V.’s script absolutely floored us with its insights, emotions and humanity, and we are thrilled to join the powerhouse teaming of Hillman Grad, Makeready and Sight Unseen to bring her directorial talents to the screen.”
Makeready and Hillman Grad teamed up with Universal Pictures on Melina Matsoukas’ “Queen & Slim.” Sight Unseen and Hillman Grad are also working on a Sammy Davis Jr. biopic with MGM.
Rockwell is represented by WME Entertainment and Granderson Des Rochers. Hillman Grad Productions is represented by WME Entertainment and Blue Marble Management.