Amazon has announced their streaming service will pick up famed director Steve Mcqueen’s upcoming anthology series titled, Small Axe, for American distribution. Meanwhile, the BBC will take on distibution duties for the series in the U.K., with BBC Studios selling the title internationally.
McQueen is known for directing and writing the films: Hunger (2008), a historical drama about the 1981 Irish hunger strike, Shame (2011), a drama about an executive struggling with sex addiction, 12 Years A Slave (2013), based on the 1853 slave memoir, and Widows (2018), a heist thriller about a group of women who attempt to finish the very same robbery that led to their husbands deaths.
McQueen is set to direct the mini series, while Lucy Richer will executive produce the series in partnership with Turbine Studios— a U.K.-based production company founded by Andrew Eaton and Tracey Scoffield, who both have been in the industry for some time.
Georgia Brown, Chief Content of Amazon’s European branch, revealed Amazon’s involvement in the series during a recent British parliamentary hearing, which discussed the future of broadcasting and SVOD in regards to the impending Brexit. Meanwhile, production houses such as Discovery become amongst the growing list of entertainment companies making moves to leave the country following the decision.
Broken up into six parts, the series is set in London during the early 1960s and will follow the everyday lives and stories of England’s West Indian communities as they try to adjust living in an increasingly hostile environment. Five stories total will be included throughout the series’ run, with the first spanning the first two hours of the show’s season.
The series official logline reads:
The story starts in 1968 at a moment of racial tension. In the same year, a small restaurant called The Mangrove opens in Ladbroke Grove, west London, a place of cameraderie and friendship. It becomes a social heart for the community and, over time, a flashpoint for resistance.
McQueen further commented: “These stories are passionate, personal and unique. They are testimony to the truth of real lives and urgently need to be told. This is about a legacy which has not only made my life as an artist possible, but also has shaped the Britain that we live in today.”