A United Kingdom, directed by Amma Asante (Belle), will receive its European premiere by opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival on October 5th. Starring David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). A United Kingdom revolves around the true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments. This is the story of how the British Government conspired with apartheid South Africa to prevent the mixed race royal couple from returning home.
“Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom is testament to a defiant and enduring love story that also reveals a complex, painful chapter in British history. We are proud to be opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival with a film of such contemporary relevance, one that celebrates the triumph of love and intelligence over intolerance and oppression, and that confirms Asante as a distinctive and important British filmmaker.” – Clare Stewart, BFI London Film Festival Director
The script was written by Guy Hibbert and was based on the book Colour Bar by Susan Williams. Rick McCallum (Star Wars), Oyelowo, Justin Moore-Lewy, Brunson Green (The Help) serve as executive producers of the film alongside BBC Films’ Christine Langan, the BFI’s Ben Roberts, Ingenious Media’s Eleanor Clark Windo.
“It’s a great privilege that A United Kingdom has been selected as the Opening Night Film of the BFI London Film Festival. The Festival means a lot to me personally, having showcased my very first film, A Way of Life, here and been honored with the UK Film Talent Award.” – Amma Asante
In 2005, Asante, was the recipient of a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television) Award for Outstanding Debut for her first feature, A Way of Life. After her feature debut, Asante started to develop Where Hands Touch originally supposed to go into production fall of 2009; however, the project fell through. Ten years later, Asante went on to direct her second feature Belle, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw in 2014 which grossed over $16M.
This year’s London Film Festival runs October 5-16.