“Bant Mama,” the Dominican Republic’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars, has been purchased by Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing. In addition to playing the major part and co-writing the script with the director, TV actress Clarisse Albrecht makes her feature film debut. According to a press release, ARRAY will premiere on Netflix and in a few theaters on November 17.
The film “Bant Mama” centers on Emma (Albrecht), an Afropean lady who manages to avoid incarceration and seeks safety in a risky area of Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital, where she is adopted by three little children. The summary hints, “She suffers an unfathomable transformation in her fate by becoming their protégée and maternal figure.”
Albrecht is one of “Bant Mama’s” producers in addition to co-writing the script and co-starring in it.
In a statement, ARRAY president Tilane Jones said, “This truly affecting and vividly rendered drama, wonderfully directed by Ivan Herrera and co-written with producer Clarisse Albrecht, is a daring vision that we’re excited to share with viewers.”
At the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, “Bant Mama” had its international debut and went on to win prizes at events like the Quibdó frica Film Festival and the Durban International Film Festival.
The BBC historical drama “The Long Song,” a miniseries based on Andrea Levy’s book of the same name and set in the 19th century on a plantation in Jamaica during the height of slavery, is among Albrecht’s acting credits.
According to its website, DuVernay founded ARRAY Releasing, a narrative shift collective “committed to distributing and screening independent films created by Black artists, people of color, and women of all types.” DuVernay’s own films include “Selma” and “13th.” “What We Leave Behind,” a documentary on Iliana Sosa’s grandpa, and “Donkeyhead,” a family drama about a daughter caring for her Sikh father after he has a crippling stroke, are among the 2022 releases from ARRAY Releasing.