Focus Features has acquired the worldwide rights to “Silent Twins,” a film starring “Black Panther” actress Letitia Wright.
“Silent Twins” is the English-language debut of “The Lure” director Agnieszka Smoczynska and stars Wright and Tamara Lawrance (“The Gurney,” “The Long Song”) as twin sisters in Wales who are mute to everyone but themselves.
The film recently wrapped production in Poland. Focus plans to distribute the film in the U.S., while Universal Pictures International will distribute internationally.
“Silent Twins” is based on the book “The Silent Twins” by Marjorie Wallace. It tells the haunting story of June and Jennifer Gibbons, twins from the only Black family in a small town in Wales in the 1970s and ’80s.
Feeling isolated from that unwelcoming community, the pair turn inward and reject communication with everyone but each other, retreating into their own fantasy world of artistic inspiration and adolescent desires. After a spree of vandalism inspired by an American boy they both idolize, the girls, now teenagers, are summarily sentenced to Broadmoor, an infamous psychiatric hospital, where they face the choice to separate and survive or die together. Andrea Siegel wrote the screenplay.
“Silent Twins” is produced by Madant’s Klaudia Smieja-Rostworowska, Extreme Emotions’ Ewa Puszczyńska, 42’s Ben Pugh, Joshua Horsfield, Kindred Spirit’s Anita Gou, Alicia van Couvering and Letitia Wright.
The film was financed by Kindred Spirit and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, Moderator Inwestycje and Cofiloisir. 30WEST arranged the financing and represented the U.S. rights. The executive producers include Tamara Lawrance, 30WEST’s Katie Anderson, Jake Carter and Trevor Groth, Andrea Seigel, Charlie Morrison and Marjorie Wallace.
“Aga is a visually stunning and fantastically sensitive filmmaker who treats the twins, so harshly judged, as ordinary girls with extraordinary imaginations,” Focus Features president of production and acquisitions Kiska Higgs said in a statement. “She’s created a luminous, magical world for her stars, in which they explore the themes of love, longing, identity and what it truly means to have an ‘other half.'”
Wright is known for her work in “Black Panther” and “Black Mirror,” and she most recently starred in Steve McQueen’s “Mangrove” as part of his “Small Axe” anthology. She’ll next be seen in “Death on the Nile.”
Simon Goldberg and Razwana Akram at SMB, Brian Kilb at Eisner and Tomasz Przybecki negotiated the deal with Focus Features.
For the record: A previous version of this story referred to “Silent Twins” as a short film. It’s feature-length.