Charles Burnett to direct Steal Away for Amazon
Amazon Studios has landed director Charles Burnett (To Sleep with Anger) to helm their upcoming slavery drama Steal Away, per a report from Deadline. The movie will tell the story of the daring theft and escape of Robert Smalls, who was a slave in 1862 Charleston, South Carolina.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences honored Burnett in 2018 with a Governor’s Award for his significant contributions to film and to American culture. Two of his films —Killer of Sheep and To Sleep with Anger– were selected for the prestigious Library of Congress National Film Registry.
During the Civil War, Smalls was aboard the CSS Planter, a Confederate ship. While its three officers were away, he put on a captain’s uniform and steered the ship past five forts at Charleston Harbor, into the Atlantic, and eventually to the Union army.
After the Civil War, Smalls returned to his home of Beaufort, SC and became a politician, being elected as a Republican to the State legislature and the United States House of Representatives during the Reconstruction era. Smalls also authored legislation that made South Carolina the first state to provide free and compulsory public school system in the United States. He also founded the Republican Party of South Carolina.
Cotty Chubb (The Crow, Eve’s Bayou) and George Plamondon (Paranormal State) are producing. The script comes from Andy Froemke. No other details about the production are available at this time.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)