Production for filmmaker Anthony Chen‘s English language debut, Drift, is officially underway in Greece, and it has just been announced that Cynthia Erivo and Alia Shawkat have been cast as the film’s two leads. Erivo will portray Jacqueline, a Liberian refugee who escapes to a Greek island and develops a deep connection with a tour guide. Susanne Farrell and Alexander Maksik adapted the film’s script from Maksik’s acclaimed novel A Marker to Measure Drift.
Drift is a being produced by Emilie Georges, Naima Abed, and Peter Spears. Georges and Spears both produced Luca Guadagnino‘s 2017 Oscar-winning romance film Call Me By Your Name. Konstantinos Kontovrakis and Giorgos Karnavas are both serving as co-producers on the film as well. Other producers include Cynthia Erivo and Solome Williams.
Chen spoke about his thoughts on the upcoming film, saying:
“Drift is a compelling and deeply affecting story about the strength of the human spirit during the worst of times. It has been an emotional experience developing this film in the past few years, particularly during the challenging days of the pandemic. I’m thrilled to mark my English language feature debut working alongside the remarkable talents of Cynthia and Alia.”
Chen has directed the successful foreign-language films Ilo Ilo and Wet Season. Ilo Ilo won the Caméra d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first Singaporean feature to win any awards in Cannes history. Chen‘s new Chinese drama The Breaking Ice is currently in post-production, and he is also slated to direct Amazon‘s upcoming film The Secret Daughter starring Priyanka Chopra and Sienna Miller.
Erivo is known for her Oscar-nominated starring role as Harriet Tubman in 2019’s Harriet, as well as appearing in the films Bad Times at the El Royale, Widows, and Chaos Walking. She will next be seen in the upcoming films Pinocchio, Luther, Wicked, Carrier, and Blink Speed. Shawkat is known for playing memorable roles on TV, including Maeby Fünke in Arrested Development and Dory Sief in Search Party. Shawkat will next be seen in the FX series The Old Man starring Jeff Bridges.
Check out the official synopsis for Drift below:
“Drift follows a young Liberian refugee named Jacqueline who has barely escaped her war-torn country to a Greek island. She offers massages to tourists in exchange for one or two euros to battle her hunger, while her daily struggle for survival keeps the memories that haunt her at bay. She meets an unmoored tour guide and the two become close as they each find hope in the other.”
Drift does not currently have an official release date.