Vanessa Redgrave and Freida Pinto have boarded the family feature “The Boy at the Back of the Class,” based on the acclaimed children’s book.
Directed by Stephen Herek (“101 Dalmations”), the film centers on a mysterious new boy called Ahmet who joins nine-year-old Alexa’s school. As Alexa learns that he is a refugee, separated from his family, she will do anything she can to help. With the adults out of the way, Alexa and her school friends come up with a daring plan to reunite Ahmet with his family – the start of an adventure that will take them all the way to Buckingham Palace.
The film is penned by “A Street Cat Named Bob” screenwriter Tim John. Adam Rolston and David Braithwaite at Studio Pictures are producing. Nicola Pearcey of Picnik Entertainment and Paul Grindey are executive producing. Casting director is BAFTA nominee Carolyn McLeod.
“The Boy at the Back of the Class,” written by Onjali Q. Rauf, has sold more than half a million copies in the U.K. First published in 2018, the book won multiple awards, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and the Janusz Kor-czak Prize in France.
The movie will go into production later this year. WestEnd is handling worldwide sales at the European Film Market, which is running alongside the Berlin Film Festival. Gersh is co-repping North American rights.
Vanessa Redgrave is repped by Gavin Barker Associates and CAA, and Freida Pinto is repped by CAA and Principal Entertainment LA.
WestEnd’s EFM line-up also includes new political thriller “Untitled Judo,” co-directed by Oscar winner Guy Nattiv and Zar Amir Ebrahimi; Woody Allen’s new film “Coup de Chance”; and Cartoon Saloon’s new animated feature “Puffin Rock and the New Friends.”