Saints & Strangers, Produced by Sony Pictures Television With Little Engine Productions, Set to Begin Principal Photography This July in South Africa
National Geographic Channel announced today that acclaimed television director Paul Edwards will direct the network’s four-hour scripted movie event Saints & Strangers. The program, produced by Sony Pictures Television with Little Engine Productions, is scheduled to start shooting this summer in South Africa, with a premiere set for fall 2015. The film puts a new lens on the familiar historical account of the trials and tribulations faced by the first American settlers and the native Americans they encountered upon their arrival.
“Paul’s resume reads like a ‘must-watch’ list of TV programs from the last two decades, and we’re excited to watch him bring this story to life in a creative and cohesive way,” said Tim Pastore, NGC’s president of original programming and production.
“We are thrilled that Paul will be at the helm of this extraordinary project to contribute his vast expertise and experience as a director and cinematographer,” said Helen Verno, executive vice president of movies and limited series for Sony Pictures Television.
Edwards has been directing for acclaimed television series for more than 15 years. He has directed episodes of the popular current hits Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Blacklist, Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow and Bates Motel, along with such cult favorites as Fringe and Lost. He received a BAFTA TV award for his work on Heroes.
Saints & Strangers is a story that goes beyond the familiar historical version of the founding of America, revealing the trials and tribulations of the first American settlers: 101 men, women and children who sailed on the Mayflower for a place no one had ever seen.
Half of these “pilgrims” were religious separatists who had abandoned their prior lives for religious freedom and an opportunity to create a new social order built on their values. The other half, “adventurers,” were mostly single men seeking financial opportunity and a rapid acquisition of wealth in a new land or trying to escape their old identities or criminal pasts.
Intertwined with these complex inner struggles is the relationship with the Native Americans and the conflicting allegiances among these groups, culminating in trials of assimilation, faith and compromise that to this day define our country.
Saints & Strangers will be produced for National Geographic Channels US by Sony Pictures Television. For Little Engine Productions, executive producers are Grant Scharbo and Gina Matthews; Teri Weinberg is executive producer; Eric Overmyer is executive producer/writer; Seth Fisher is writer. Original script was written by Chip Johannessen, with revisions by Walon Green.
For Sony Pictures Television, executive vice president of movies and limited series is Helen Verno. For National Geographic Channels, president of original programming and production is Tim Pastore; vice president of production is Matt Renner.