Renowned actor, director, author and activist David Harewood (“Homeland”) and his producing partner Sabina Emrit Harper have launched production company Section 52 Films, with a focus on the arts, diversity and the exploration of important social issues.
The company will produce TV shows, films and documentaries aiming to shed light on stories of race, identity, mental health and equality, in the wake of Harewood’s work with the BBC including “Psychosis and Me,” “Blackface” and “Why Is COVID-19 Killing People of Colour?”
More from Variety
Section 52 Films is named after the U.K.’s Mental Health Act Section 5(2), under which Harewood was detained during his episodes of psychosis more than 30 years ago. The company looks to honor his experiences of mental health across both scripted and non-scripted productions.
The company’s debut projects will be two Sky Arts documentaries exploring the work of Charles Dickens through a modern lens – “David Harewood: Dickens in Italy,” a co-production with Ballandi and “Dickens Phantoms and Fictions.”
Besides “Homeland,” for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award, Harewood is known for “Blood Diamond” and “Free in Deed,” which scored him an Independent Spirit Award nomination. Earlier this year, he was accorded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama.
Harewood said: “Section 52 Films is a labor of love, an amalgamation of my career thus far, dedicated to crafting challenging narratives and being comfortable with the uncomfortable. I’ve presented documentaries for a while now and it was time to take ownership of using my voice and platform. So far as scripted projects go, it’s time to start creating the kind of work that excites me.”
Sabina Emrit Harper, who has worked with Harewood for a decade, added: “David has a unique way of connecting with audiences whether in character or as himself, be it on screen or on the page. We’ve been developing a slate of projects that we’re extremely passionate about and we’re committed to diverse storytelling, ensuring that a wide range of voices and perspectives are brought to the forefront, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable landscape. We’re excited to be working with Sky Arts for our debut documentaries. Dickens’ work transcends generations, making it the perfect canvas to provoke dialogue and share a side of the author that has been somewhat kept in the dark.”
Best of Variety