EXCLUSIVE: XYZ Films has taken global distribution rights, excluding Canada, on the eco-thriller The Well, the first narrative feature by Academy Award-nominated documentary director Hubert Davis.
Recently filmed in Hamilton, Canada, The Well features a Canadian cast, including veterans such as Sheila McCarthy (Women Talking) and Arnold Pinnock (The Porter), who also executive produce. Shailyn Pierre-Dixon (Book of Negros) and Idrissa Sanogo (Robin Hood) also star. The ensemble, working outside of SAG jurisdiction, is rounded out by Joanne Boland (Handmaid’s Tale), Noah Lamanna (Dream Scenario), Natasha Mumba (The Last of Us), and Steven McCarthy (Mary Kills People).
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Film’s synopsis reads: In a world where environmental collapse has left survivors to fight for the precious resources needed to survive, a young woman’s (Shailyn Pierre-Dixon) loyalties are tested by the arrival of a wounded man. When he discovers her family has a secret supply of fresh water it puts them all in the crosshairs of a dangerous cult and their ruthless leader, Gabriel (Sheila McCarthy).
The film is produced by Coral Aiken of Aiken Heart Films (Carmen) and Davis. Executive producers are Damon D’Oliveira, Clement Virgo of Conquering Lion Pictures, Tom Kavluk, and Lexy Kavluk of Untitled Films. The film is funded by Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund and Ontario Creates, in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Vortex Media who will distribute the film in Canada.
Davis is perhaps best known for his 2005 short documentary Hardwood, which was nominated for both an Academy Award and an Emmy. Davis was the first Black Canadian filmmaker nominated for an Academy Award. His feature documentary Black Ice won the 2022 People’s Choice Award at TIFF.
“As a father, my own fear and anxieties for my kids’ futures inspired The Well. I want to shelter them from chaos, but watching their journey to pursue full lives opened my eyes to what our continued existence hinges on community. The Well challenges us to expand our imagination on what and who we need to let in to rebuild after the end of the world,” said Davis.
Brown added: “Hubert Davis is a hidden gem, a talent we have watched for years wondering when he would make the step into features. That it’s now, with a script as tense and beautifully written as The Well, and that we get to be a part of bringing it to audiences is a thrill.”
Davis is represented by Bash Naran at WME, and Aiken is represented by Ella Mastrippolito and Matt Coatsworth at UTA.
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