Here’s your first look at Amma Asante’s period drama Belle, which Fox Searchlight will release on May 2, 2014.
The period drama about the trials and tribulations of a mixed-race girl, in the 1700s, made its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.
It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miranda Richardson, Tom Wilkinson, Sarah Gadon, Sam Claflin, and Matthew Goode.
The story takes place in the 1780s, and is based on a true story – specifically, the true story of Dido Belle, a mixed-race woman raised as an aristocrat in 18th-century England. It follows Belle, adopted into an aristocratic family, who faces class and color prejudices. As she blossoms into a young woman, she develops a relationship with a vicar’s son who is an advocate for slave emancipation.
Her full name was Dido Elizabeth Belle, born 1761, died 1804; she was the illegitimate daughter of John Lindsay (a white British Naval officer) and an African slave woman known only as Belle.
Mbatha-Raw is of course playing the lead role.
The project, which we’ve been following for about a year now, since it was first announced overseas, was developed and supported by the British Film Institute.
It also co-stars Tom Felton (from the Harry Potter movies), Sam Reid (playing Belle’s love interest), James Norton and Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey).
Misan Sagay penned the script; Damian Jones produced.
Zeba positively reviewed the film at TIFF. Read her thoughts HERE.
Watch the first trailer below: