This news came just a few days after Paramount Pictures announced that it had acquired another one of several projects on David Oyelowo’s post-“Selma” slate, “Captive,” for a September 18, 2015 theatrical release. One can only assume that the actor’s raised profile, thanks to “Selma,” was of influence on these fresh pickups.
Oyelowo is one black actor who’s able to stay constantly busy, despite the publicized struggles of others over the years. Since I first was introduced to his work in the 2006 drama “Shoot the Messenger,” he’s appeared in numerous projects, often more than a few each year, on both sides of the pond.
Taking a look at his slate, he’s clearly an actor in demand, and is also producing work for himself, not relying solely on the “kindness of others” to ensure he stays employed.
“Nightingale” is backed by BN Films (the same company behind “Captive”) – a newly-formed well-funded international production company based in Santa Monica, CA and Mexico City, run by Alex Garcia and Lucas Akoskin, said to be two of Latin America’s most prolific young producers, with plans to offer a slate of films in all languages, aimed at both the domestic U.S. and international markets.
BN Films says it will self-finance six to twelve films a year, working initially off of a $150-million production fund. On the collective resume of both Garcia and Akoskin are titles like “Tropa de Elite” (“Elite Squad”), winner of more than 30 awards, including the prestigious Berlinale Golden Bear; Guillermo Arriaga’s acclaimed “The Burning Plain,” starring Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger; Shelter, starring Julianne Moore; “Ceremony,” starring Uma Thurman; “The House of My Father,” starring Will Ferrell, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal; and more.
In “Nightingale,” Oyelowo plays a character named Peter Snowden, described as a man obsessing over an old army friend, whom he loves, as his life begins to spiral downward, with their reunion approaching. The film follows Peter as he records his private thoughts and feelings – his nightingale song – in the days leading up to his reunion with Edward. Before long the hostile world outside Peter’s door begins to threaten the idyllic future that he’s so desperately trying to build.”
In literature, the nightingale often represents melancholy and joy, love and loss, life and death. In mythology, all species of bird typically represent a departed soul. Nightingales particularly suggest love and longing.
It’s a one-man show, as Oyelowo carries the entire film solo.
Elliott Lester directed the film from a script penned by Frederick Mensch – a Black List discovery.
Katrina Wolfe of BN Films and Josh Weinstock are producers.
A first trailer has surfaced and is embedded below. Underneath, you’ll find an interview with the director, discussing the project, as well as a photo from the film (above is the poster):