15 awards season hopefuls looking for distribution
These currently homeless films could find room if picked up
"Half of a Yellow Sun"
Director: Biyi Bandele
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton
Why it's on our radar: All eyes will already be on British star Chiwetel Ejiofor at Toronto, with his demanding lead turn in Steve McQueen's “12 Years a Slave” widely tipped to land him in the Oscar race, so this lower-profile starring vehicle could well benefit from the residual buzz. That said, Nigerian writer Biyi Bandele's debut feature has plenty going for it on its own. It's based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's award-winning 2006 bestseller, an expansive emotional epic about four characters – a British-Nigerian intellectual, his houseboy, his girlfriend and her twin sister – variously affected by the Biafran War of the 1960s. The impressive ensemble, including “Attack the Block” breakout star John Boyega, seems well-chosen. If everything goes right, this could be something akin to an African “Unbearable Lightness of Being.”
- Guy Lodge