EXCLUSIVE: Rosario Dawson has come aboard to play activist Donna Hylton in a feature film based on the biography A Little Piece Of Light. The title of the book is said to have been taken from something that happened to Hylton as a child.
According to the story that will be used for the feature film: Growing up in Jamaica, Hylton’s mother first sold her to an American couple in New York. She was 7 years old. Thinking that she was going to Disneyland, she ended up in a very different reality: Hylton would find out that her adoptive father was a pedophile. To get away from him, she would hide in the closet, and when she saw a little piece of light coming through the room, she knew he was on his way to get her.
Hylton, whose beauty became her curse in a life of sexual abuse, was later arrested at age 19 when she was a high school track star as a result of her participation in the kidnapping and murder of a Rikers Island real estate agent. She was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison and was put in solitary confinement where she, once again, would see that little piece of light. This time, however, it grew to mean something very different.
Once out of prison in 2012, she would look for that little piece of light in others. And eventually found her calling — she began fighting for the rights of women alongside her mother figure and women’s rights activist, author Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues).
Dawson and Hylton are currently looking for a female screenwriter to adapt the book as well as a female director.
“We are all looking for the right female screenwriter and director for A Little Piece Of Light. This is a project for women, by women, of women,” said Dan Pearson, who is repping the material and Hylton’s life rights through his D4 Entertainement. “That’s how it’s got to go. Donna says, ‘Your voice is my voice. My voice is your voice. And together our voice is powerful.’ ” Frank Weimann at the FolioLit literary agency in New York is working with Pearson.
Pearson helped set up a Leonardo DiCaprio mafia drama at Showtime. Set in Brooklyn, the untitled project centers around the relationship between a mafia captain and a rogue federal agent who conduct themselves by their own set of rules.
Dawson (Iron Fist and Sin City) is repped by CAA and Untitled Management.