EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of Cannes, Entertainment One’s boutique label Seville International has boarded international rights to United Nations-backed climate change and music documentary Great Green Wall, which is fronted by Malian singer and model Inna Modja (pictured) and executive-produced by City Of God and The Constant Gardener director Fernando Meirelles.

Timothy Cragg

Currently in production, Great Green Wall focuses on the ongoing Africa-led project to grow an 8,000km wall of trees and plants across the width of the continent. The initiative will stretch from Senegal to Djibouti and is meant to provide food and jobs to millions. The film, described as “Buena Vista Social Club meets Years of Living Dangerously”, follows Modja across Africa as she assembles leading musicians and singers (pictured) to record an album that captures the spirit of the Wall, which once completed will be the largest living structure on earth, three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef.

Oscar-nominee Meirelles first heard about the project when directing the Rio Olympics opening ceremony, which had a segment about forests. Its ambitions have personal resonance for the Brazilian who himself plants 13-15,000 trees a year, he has said.

Director is Jared P. Scott, whose previous docs The Age of Consequences and Requiem For the American Dream debuted at HotDocs and Tribeca, respectively. Former BBC investigative journalist Sarah Macdonald, who won a BAFTA for her work at nightly news show Newsnight, produces for UK and Singapore outfit Make Productions (HBO Asia’s The Talwars). Alexander Asen is executive producer for the UN’s Convention to Combat Desertification.

Make Productions

Anick Poirier negotiated the deal for Seville International with producer Nick North (Serangoon Road) from Make’s sister company Make Entertainment. Poirier, who will launch sales on the film next month at Cannes, told us, “Great Green Wall is an important film. Beyond the breathtaking visuals, it is an extraordinarily inspiring story to see how one continent is active in taking control of its own destiny. We’re looking forward to working with this brilliant filmmaking team and sharing this documentary with the world.”

Malian-French singer-songwriter, model and women’s rights activist Modja is a global ambassador on the environment and an activist around FGM issues and the war in Mali.