David Oyelowo is one black actor who's able to stay constantly busy, despite laments about the challenges black actors face in the business. 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 upcoming 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.
One of the handful of films on the horizon is an indie drama titled Nightingale, which is backed by BN Films - 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, who's described as a man obsessing over an old army friend, whom he loves, as his life begins to spiral downward, with their reunion approaching.
Here's the film's official logline:
A provocative drama that probes the darkest corners of a disturbed mind, NIGHTINGALE tells the story of Peter Snowden and his obsession with an old army friend named Edward. 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.
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 producing.
Details on the film's eventual release are forthcoming. But ahead of that vital piece of information, we've been granted an exclusive first-look photo from the drama, featuring the film's star (Oyelowo), seemingly in a state of doubt and distress, with a few clues around him (what looks like the feet of another human being on the floor, the bloody phone and spectacles, etc) that suggest plenty.
The full photo is embedded below: