Farming, developed at the Sundance Film Institute, with script written by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, with Damson Idris (FX’s Snowfall) in the lead role, Kate Beckinsale playing his abusive and neglectful foster mother and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as his supportive teacher and mentor, appears to be moving forward.
The screenplay has been in development for over ten years. The story is autobiographical as Akinnuoye-Agbaje , as he himself grew up with a white, working-class, white family. When he was eight, he was given the chance to return to Nigeria, but was unable to speak the local Yoruba language, but forbidden to speak English. He soon after returned to England, but always struggled with his racial identity following the trip. He would later go on to get a Law degree from King’s College London and a Masters in Law from the University of London. Since then he has had roles in television series such as HBO’s Oz, NBC’s Lost, and HBO’s Game of Thrones, and movies such as The Bourne Identity, The Mummy Returns, G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, Thor: The Dark World, and Suicide Squad.
During the 1960s and the 1980s, thousands of Nigerian children were ‘farmed out’ to white working-class families in the United Kingdom. These children were not kept track of, as they outside social services, and many of them were never reunited with their parents. Akinnuoye-Agbaje address in the film how many of them lost sight of their heritage and their culture, and instead adopted their white British host family’s perspective.
Filming will begin in August, in both Nigeria and the UK. Groundswell Productions, Montebello Productions, and the Sundance Institute will produce the feature.
Beckinsale can next be seen in The Only Living Boy in New York, beside Pierce Brosnan and Jeff Bridges.
Mbatha-Raw had a busy year, with roles in Beauty and the Beast, Miss Sloane, and Free State of Jones. She can next be seen in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time.