Belle Information

Belle is an upcoming British film directed by Amma Asante and produced by Damian Jones, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sarah Gadon, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Tom Felton, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode and Sam Reid. The film was written by Misan Sagay. It is scheduled to be shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.


The film was shot on location in the Isle of Man, Oxford and London and is the first major British motion picture to be shot on true-4K, using Sony's F65 CineAlta digital production camera.

The film was produced by DJ Films, Pinewood Films and Bankside Films with support from the BFI.

In July 2013 it was announced that Fox Searchlight had acquired distribution rights for the film in the UK and USA. It is due for release in spring 2014.

Original music for the film was recorded by composer Rachel Portman



Belle is based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, an 18th century heiress and the mixed"race daughter of a British Naval officer and an African slave. After the death of her mother, Dido is taken to England by her father, Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode), to be raised by his uncle, the Earl of Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson), as an aristocratic Lady, as befits her blood line. On the grand estate of Kenwood House, Dido (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is raised in privilege alongside her cousin Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon) and together they navigate the complex social hierarchies of the time. Dido meets John Davinier (Sam Reid), a young lawyer and apprentice of Lord Mansfield, and a rift grows between her and her protective guardian, who sees John as being beneath Dido. Yet John and Dido's meeting is the beginning of a love story that catapults Dido onto a path of self-discovery, and forces Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice, to confront his own views on race, society and the antiquated laws of the time.

Johan Zoffany painting

Dido and Elizabeth were immortalised in a painting by Johann Zoffany. The painting, which now hangs at Scotland's Scone Palace was one the first portraits to portray a black subject on an equal eye-line with a white aristocrat.

See also

  • List of films featuring slavery

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