Action/Adventure - Pre-Production 2016

Based Diary. Mary, aged twelve, was sold into slavery by her sister. Freddy was a slave from birth. They both crossed rivers & oceans to escape, with the help of friends. They needed to get up the political ladder to gain their freedom. Would they both reach liberation & cross the great divide?

    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Action/Adventure, Romance, Historical
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 10 - 25 M$
    • Duration
    • 120 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Jenni CORNER
    • Writer(s)
    • Jenni CORNER
    • Producer(s)
    • Steve CLARK HALL (Skyline)
    • Synopsis
    • 1800-32 (Includes spoiler) Based on true story:
      Garden of Eden scene. Aunt Veronica has adopted Mary, and brings her up as sister to her daughter Jane. Mary has a happy childhood. Veronica tells Mary that she was the daughter of Veronica’s brother James and Judy a slave on their father’s plantation. The tranquility of the garden scene is disrupted by Jane becomes jealous of Mary. Their peaceful life ends when Veronica becomes ill. Shadows enter the house. She dies and Jane marries a man she hopes will run the farm. But the farm needs a fisherman & he is scared of water. He turns out to be a gambling man. Mary, aged twelve, is sold to pay off his debts and is taken away by a sheriff who abuses her, then chained to a line of slaves; The youngest stones flowers & birds; not the culprits.They are taken to a slave sale, where she’s enslaved by the Tweed family who treat her badly.

      Freddy’s Grandmother Betsy brings him up as one of many of her slave grandchildren. She is an expert gardener of sweet potatoes and a fine fisherwoman. Aged six he is taken to become a slave on Colonel Lloyd’s plantation. He is at first in awe of the riches, animals and botanical gardens but soon learns what life is like as an abused and often hungry slave. He fantasises about flying away and joining a murmeration of black starlings.

      However Freddy’s life takes a turn for the better. His master’s daughter, Lucretia, who is probably his half sister, befriends him. Soon he is taken by riverboat, as slave, with a herd of sheep, to Hugh and Sophie to look after their child Tommy but Sophie educates and cherishes him. By the time Hugh decides that it is a bad idea to educate a slave it is too late and Freddy sees education as a means to escape slavery. He self educates, through bargaining with young white friends and learns to play the violin. He develops his understanding of slavery rapidly but his plans are thwarted when his master dies and he is required to return to Maryland.

      Mary continues to suffer under the conditions on the Tweed Plantation. An English visitor, John B turns up, trying to purchase hemp for his rope-making business. He is impressed by Mary’s education and intelligence and puts her in touch with the Friends’ Meeting House who can help her to escape. They fall in love.

      Plans are made for Mary to escape by using disguises, and she hides in the woods. She is chased by bloodhounds, has to hide in haystacks and nearly starves. However in the end she is sneaked on board a clipper & taken to Europe. In Belgium a war is taking place so they are held up for a while, but then they finally reach Britain where she can be free. She is taken to stay with members of the Women’s Anti Slavery Society who funded her escape and finally meets up with John again. It is Christmas. Freddy is still held in captivity. John and Mary meet again. Their love love-affair resumes and they swear that they will help to maintain the Underground railroad to help other slaves.
    • Partners & financing
    • Currently in discussion with company from Texus USA .
      DEVELOPMENT: -Initially I hope to seek development funding to complete a budget with Steve Clark Hall, (Producer "Man from U.N.C.L.E" Co-Producer Jane "Calendar Girls, "Sherlock Holmes" and "Sherlock”), who I worked for as Editor in the past and who has offered to assist me with budgeting, as well as preparing with Cameraman, Casting Director, Location Manager, Set Designer etc.
    • Production schedule
    • If we are able to start shooting in September Editing should be finished by March. Post Production completed by end of April 2017.
      We hope to start production planning with DOP Ian Watts and Production Designer ASAP.
      Oscar Winning Javier Navarette “I hope you will be able to make your movie, because it looks like it could be a very interesting project both in terms of human and artistic interest.” Much of the film music would be based on violin playing by Freddy but I am also in discussion with a black music producer hoping to include some well-known musicians in the cast and we have researched relevant music.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Sep 12, 2016
    • End of shooting
    • Oct 24, 2016
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