Justin Chadwick helming 'First Grader'

First prod'n from ex-BBC Films chief David Thompson

LONDON -- Justin Chadwick is tasked with directing "The First Grader," a movie that marks the first production from ex-BBC Films chief David Thompson's Origin Pictures.

The project has been developed by BBC Films with Sixth Sense Prods. and Origin and has attracted cash backing from the U.K. FIlm Council, Videovision Entertainment and Lypsync Prods., among others.

Based on a true story, the script is penned by Emmy winner Ann Peacock ("The Chronicles of Narnia") and stars Naomie Harris ("Ninja Assassin") and newcomer Oliver Litondo.

It details the story of an elderly Kenyan who signs up for school on the back of a government pledge of free education for everyone. Having fought for his country's liberation, the old man wants the chance of an education so long denied -- even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside 6-year-olds.

Thompson's banner is producing alongside Richard Harding and Sam Feuer for Sixth Sense Prods.

International sales are being handled by Anant Singh's Distant Horizon. The project is currently shooting for six weeks in and around Nairobi.

Thompson, Feuer and Harding said the story is "full of surprises and unexpected humor."