EXCLUSIVE: I May Destroy You and The Maze Runner actor Aml Ameen has commenced production on his directorial debut feature, Boxing Day, a UK based Christmas romantic comedy in which he’ll also star. Joining him on the call sheet are How to Get Away with Murder alum Aja Naomi King, Leigh-Anne Pinnock of the British girl group Little Mix (in her first film role), and Golden Globe and BAFTA-winner Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets & Lies).
Ameen and Bruce Purnelln co-wrote the screenplay, which is inspired by the diary of Ameen’s life. The film, which the filmmakers are saying is the first UK holiday film featuring an all-black cast, follows Melvin (Ameen), a British author living in America who returns home to London for Christmas to introduce his American fiancée Lisa (King) to his eccentric British-Caribbean family. Their relationship is put to the test, as she discovers the world her fiancé has left behind.
The BFI and Film4 are financing the project with Warner Bros. Pictures distributing in the UK & Ireland. Ameen and Purnell are producing through for their new label Studio113 with Matthew G. Zamias, Damian Jones of DJ Films, Dominique Telson, and Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor.
“It is such an honour to be teaming up with Warner Bros. Pictures, Film4 and BFI to bring Black British Culture to the world in this universal holiday rom-com, remarked Ameen. “It’s long been a dream of mine to capture films that reflect the wonderfully multi-cultural city that raised me while sharing stories from the diary of my life.”
Daniel Battsek, Ollie Madden and Lauren Dark will serve as executive producers for Film4, alongside Farhana Bhula for the BFI and Thorsten Schumacher for Rocket Science, which is also handling international sales.
Ameen, who was most recently seen in the Sundance horror-thriller Run Sweetheart Run, is repped by The Artists Partnership, UTA, Link Entertainment, and Brecheen, Feldman, Breimer, Silver, Thompson.
King is repped by Gersh, Door 24 and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Jean-Baptiste is with Independent Talent, Untitled Entertainment, and APA. Pinnock’s reps are Sairah Pinnock and Modest Management.
More from Deadline
Best of Deadline