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Focus Features Greenlights Drama ‘A Thousand And One’ From Sundance Alum A.V. Rockwell

Anthony D'Alessandro
·2-min read

Focus Features has teamed with Sight Unseen, Makeready and Hillman Grad Productions on the feature directorial debut of A.V. Rockwell, A Thousand and One.

The project, written by Rockwell, follows unapologetic and free-spirited Ines, who convinced that it is one last, necessary crime on the path to redemption, kidnaps six-year-old Terry from the foster care system. Holding onto their secret and each other, mother and son set out to reclaim their home, their identity, and stability in a rapidly changing New York City. Casting has yet to be set. Focus is releasing the movie stateside and via Universal abroad. Production is to begin next year.

The pic is produced by Hillman Grad’s Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani, Makeready’s Brad Weston, and Sight Unseen’s Eddie Vaisman and Julia Lebedev. Makeready’s Negin Salmasi and Sight Unseen’s Oren Moverman and Rachel Jacobs are executive producing. Makeready and Hillman Grad teamed up with Universal Pictures last year on Melina Matsoukas’ Queen and Slim. Sight Unseen and frequent collaborator Hillman Grad are also working on a Sammy Davis Jr. biopic with MGM, which is based on the book Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father written by Davis’ daughter Tracey and Dolores A. Barclay.

Rockwell was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s 25 New Faces of Independent Film for her distinctive voice and has received fellowships from Tribeca Film Institute, the Sundance Institute and the John S. Guggenheim Foundation. Fox Searchlight acquired her short film Feathers ahead of its premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. She is an alumni of the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs. She is repped by WME Entertainment and Granderson Des Rochers. Hillman Grad Productions is represented by WME Entertainment and Blue Marble Management.

Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said, “A.V.’s script absolutely floored us with its insights, emotions and humanity, and we are thrilled to join the powerhouse teaming of Hillman Grad, Makeready and Sight Unseen to bring her directorial talents to the screen.”

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