*34th Street Films is teaming with Tyler Perry on the new feature film project, “The Year of the Great Storm,” the true story of Amy Biehl, a white American Fulbright scholar who was living in South Africa during the violent days of the armed struggle against Apartheid.
Ozzie Areu and Matt Moore will co-produce alongside Russ Stratton and Johanna Baldwin of Air Extreme Films. Karzan Kader is on board to direct.
The plot summary reads:
The Year of the Great Storm will tell the true story and legacy of Amy Biehl, an American Fulbright scholar who was living in South Africa during the dangerous and violent days of the armed struggle against Apartheid. After Amy was attacked and stabbed to death by a mob of angry black youths in 1993, her American parents decided to attend the trial of her daughter’s killers. They remained in South Africa and began a grassroots effort to bring about change in the movement. Eventually the family supported their daughter’s killers’ application to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission for political amnesty and later two of those same men joined the efforts of the Amy Biehl Foundation. The film will paint a vivid picture of a country nearing civil war as it struggled with its national destiny in a desperate fight to end decades of systematic racism.
“We’re thrilled to be tackling this difficult but inspiring subject matter with an incredible director, writer, and team of producers,” said Ozzie Areu, President of Tyler Perry Studios. “The story of the Biehl family’s journey is one of courage, compassion, and redemption, and we are humbled that they have allowed us unfettered access to bring their lives to the big screen.”
Doug Liman and George C. Wolfe are also attached to the project as executive producers. Stratton, Baldwin, and Liman previously worked together on A&E’s fourteen-episode documentary series, The uneXplained, which focused on metaphysical phenomena.
Baldwin, who also penned the script, has been following the Amy Biehl story since Amy’s death twenty years ago. After meeting Amy’s family in 1996, Baldwin has been working closely with them to track their story over time and has had exclusive access to the family as well as two of the men responsible for Amy’s murder.