Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, will open the 60th BFI London Film Festival. The film tells 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.
Guy Hibbert (Eye in the Sky) wrote the script, based on the book Colour Bar by Susan Williams, and exec produces. The film is produced by Rick McCallum (Star Wars), Oyelowo, Justin Moore-Lewy, Brunson Green (The Help) and Charlie Mason. Pathé’s Cameron McCracken exec produces alongside BBC Films’ Christine Langan, the BFI’s Ben Roberts, Ingenious Media’s Eleanor Clark Windo. The film is a Pathé, BBC Films, BFI, Ingenious presentation with the participation of Canal + and Cine +. Pathé will distribute the film in the UK and France and is handling sales throughout the rest of the world.
Early buzz has been strong on the film, the latest from Asante who has established herself as one of the UK’s most distinctive filmmakers. Her previous credits include A Way of Life and Belle. This year’s London Film Festival runs October 5-16.