French sales company Wide Management has boarded Charles Officer’s crime-noir “Akilla’s Escape,” which world premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. The film is headlined by poet-musician-actor Saul Williams, who also collaborated with Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack to create the original score.
Williams stars in the film as Akilla Brown, a 40-year-old drug trader who is caught in the middle of a violent robbery after a routine deal goes bad. Weaving present-day Toronto and 1990s Brooklyn, the movie follows Akilla as he tries to set things right and capture one of the thieves, a 15-year-old boy named Sheppard. Upon finding out that the bandits are affiliated with a Jamaican crime gang he fell into as a child, Akilla is propelled into a cycle of violence he thought he had escaped.
Wide Management has acquired international sales rights outside of North America and will kick off sales at the UniFrance’s RDV with French Cinema, which begins Jan. 11. Vertical Entertainment has U.S. rights and is expected to release the film this year.
“We are really proud and excited to start working on ‘Akilla’s Escape’ an ambitious thriller supported by an amazing performance by Saul Williams and a thrilling soundtrack by Saul Williams and Rob Del Naja which tackles contemporary issues such as the legalization of cannabis and the criminalization and the systemic condemnation of Black boys,” said Maxime Montagne, head of acquisition at Wide.
“Akilla’s Escape” was produced by Canesugar Filmworks with the participation of Telefilm, CBC Films, Ontario Creates and CAVCO.