Conquering Lion Pictures, Out Of Africa Entertainment and leading independent studio Entertainment One (eOne) announce the epic mini-series adaptation of The Book of Negroes, based on the Commonwealth Writers’ prize-winning novel by Lawrence Hill (published in the US, Australia and New Zealand as Someone Knows My Name). Production will begin in South Africa later this year and the series will air on CBC in Canada and BET in the US.
The mini-series is written by multiple-award winning filmmaker Clement Virgo (The Wire, Poor Boy’s Game) and co-written by Lawrence Hill. The Book of Negroes will be directed by Clement Virgo.
The Book of Negroes depicts the extraordinary life journey of Aminata Diallo – a resolute African woman who triumphs in a world that is predisposed to underestimate her. Kidnapped by slave traders in West Africa and subsequently enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata must navigate her way through the American Revolution in New York, the isolated refuge of Nova Scotia and the jungles of Sierra Leone, before ultimately securing her freedom in England at the dawn of the 19th century.
“Lawrence Hill has given us a gift with his novel The Book of Negroes and I’m now thrilled to be able to convey the exhilaration I felt on first reading it into an exciting cinematic experience for a worldwide audience,” says Virgo.
“Reminiscent of the classic TV series Roots, The Book of Negroes depicts a universal narrative about love, loss, and human survival against a critical moment in history which affected the social fabric of the US, Canada and the UK,” comments executive producer Lance Samuels.
Loretha Jones, president of original programming, BET Networks mentions: “We are excited to partner with Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment and Entertainment One on this historic project and to bring the acclaimed Book of Negroes to life for the BET audience.’
The Book of Negroes is an official Canada-South Africa co-production, executive produced by Damon D’Oliveira (Poor Boy’s Game, Lie with Me) along with Clement Virgo from Conquering Lion Pictures.
Other executive producers include Lance Samuels (Inescapable, Bang Bang Club), Daniel Iron (Cairo Time, Away from Her), Michael Levine (The Republic of Doyle), eOne’s Carrie Stein (Coco Chanel, Burn Up, Diamonds) and Bill Niven (Marion Bridge) of Idlewild Films serving as the Nova Scotia co-producer.
eOne handles the worldwide rights to the mini-series in all media. The Book of Negroes will be produced in association with Canadian Broadcasting Company and Black Entertainment Television.