SHELBURNE - As casting for extras was ongoing, the Town of Shelburne was preparing to negotiate a location agreement with Book of Negroes producers last week.
Dozens of hopefuls came out to the casting call at the Loyalist Inn on Friday where they were measured and photos taken.
The Book of Negroes extra hopefuls lined up in front of casting company Hennessey Casting. Ronnie Clyke was one of the many who came out and received his measurements and had his picture snapped by Erin Hennessey as a part of the process.
Filming in South Africa has wrapped up and plans are being made to shoot segments of the mini-series based on the Lawrence Hill novel, The Book of Negroes, in Shelburne in early May.
Casting for extras took place April 4-6 for the Shelburne shoots.
The Shelburne shoots will focus on Dock Street and will include filming on the Freedom Schooner Amistad, which will make a special trip from the U.S. for the shoots.
The Canadian company partnering in the production, Conquering Lion Pictures, is an independent production company based in Toronto and is under the leadership of Damon D'Oliveira and Clement Virgo, The company’s films have in the past been selected for Cannes, Berlin, Sundance and TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival), and have been sold around the world.
The story follows Aminata Diallo, who is kidnapped from West Africa at the dawn of the 18th century, survives a harrowing Atlantic crossing, is separated from her love and must navigate the American Revolution before returning to Sierra Leone, and ultimately securing her freedom in England.
Shelburne, Birchtown and the Black Loyalists all figure prominently in the novel.
Some big name actors are a part of the multi-national television project.
Cuba Gooding Jr. is an Oscar-winning actor who has appeared in many films in his career including Pearl Harbour, Radio, Jerry MacGuire, Men of Honour and Red Tails among others.
Lou Gossett Jr. is another Oscar winner, Emmy winner and veteran actor with a career reaching back into the 1950s and many credits behind him including noted roles in the TV series Roots and movies An Officer and A Gentleman and Iron Eagle.
Aunjanue Ellis is known for her roles in The Help, Ray and The Mentalist.
The BET network is joining forces with CBC and eOne to present the mini-series, which will air in Canada and the U.S.
Preliminary production in Shelburne is expected to start April 30 and continue until May 14.
People who are unable to attend the casting sessions, can register online at www.hennesseycasting.com .