Directed by Joseph Curran and Dominic Aubrey de Vere and produced by Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo, the documentary follows Annina Van Neel, who, as the chief environmental officer for Saint Helena’s troubled $360 million airport project, learned of the island’s most terrible atrocity – an unmarked mass burial ground of an estimated 9,000 formerly enslaved Africans in Rupert’s Valley, one of the most significant traces of the transatlantic slave trade still on earth.
More from Variety
Haunted by this historical injustice, Van Neel now fights alongside renowned African American preservationist Peggy King Jorde and a group of disenfranchised islanders – many of them descendants of the formerly enslaved – for the proper memorialization of these forgotten victims. The resistance they face exposes disturbing truths about the U.K.’s colonial past and present.
The film had its world premiere at Tribeca. Shoshi Korman, Cinephil’s head of festivals and marketing who is on the ground at the festival, which continues through June 19, is handling the title along with managing director Olivier Tournaud.
“We knew the moment we watched the film that Cinephil needed to be involved. ‘A Story of Bones’ is urgent with a powerful message that is exactly what we’re looking to represent. Raising questions not just about the importance of remembering history but the way we choose to remember and how the issue is still relevant on a global scale,” Tournaud said.
“A Story of Bones” is co-produced by Jo-Jo Ellison and executive produced by Lisa Marie Russo, Lucie Kon, Mike Brett and Steve Jamison. The production company is Archer’s Mark in association with PT Films and Turnover Films. The project is supported by BFI Doc Society and BBC Storyville. The film is next bound for Sheffield Doc/Fest in the U.K.
Cinephil has facilitated the sale and financing of more than 100 films. The company represented and produced 2013 Oscar nominee “The Gatekeepers,” 2014 Oscar nominee “The Act of Killing,” “Cathedrals of Culture,” a 3D project executive produced by Wim Wenders and including films by Wim Wenders and Robert Redford, and Martin Scorsese’s documentary “The 50 Year Argument.”
Recent Cinephil titles include globally celebrated documentaries “Flee,” “Collective,” “Jane Campion: The Cinema Woman,” “Gunda” and “A House Made of Splinters.”
Best of Variety