Ann Peacock (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Nights in Rodanthe” “The First Grader”) is set to write a feature screenplay based on the acclaimed book Saving the Lost Tribe: The Rescue and Redemption of the Ethiopian Jews by Asher Naim. First Born Films optioned the book and life rights to Asher Naim, the Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, whose powerful book tells the true story of the rescue and redemption of the Ethiopian Jews.
For nearly three thousand years, the black Jews of Ethiopia, known as the Falashas, maintained their faith and identity in the face of drought, famine, and tribal war. They were indeed the lost tribe, tracing their ancestry back to King Solomon and the queen of Sheba.
In May of 1991, these Ethiopian Jews staged a miraculous exodus. With Ethiopia exploding around them in in brutal civil war, some 14,000 Falashas were safely airlifted to Jerusalem by the Israeli air force over the course of 25 harrowing hours.
This is the story of realizing a three thousand year old dream, and the true meaning of faith, identity, and the struggle to endure.
Daniela Cretu will produce the feature film under her First Born Films banner, joining a slate of projects that include “The Godmother” – a true story based on the life of notorious drug Queenpin Griselda Blanco; Sony’s “The Bringing,” a horror film written by Brandon and Phillip Murphy, based on an actual place (the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles) and the mysterious series of events that have taken place there; and “The Run” – a film based on the largest and longest documented winning streak in gambling history, simply known as The Run when the infamous Archie Karas turned $50 into more than $46 million in a three year span from 1992-1995.
Born and raised in South Africa, Ann Peacock won an Emmy for her first film “A Lesson Before Dying,” which she wrote for HBO, and followed it with the blockbuster hit “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Nights in Rodanthe,” “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” and “The First Grader.” Throughout her illustrious career in Hollywood, she has retained a strong connection with Africa. Before turning to screenwriting as a profession, Peacock obtained an undergraduate degree majoring in English Literature and Speech & Drama and later, a Law degree from the University of Cape Town.
Peacock is repped by talent agency CAA, management firm Principato-Young Entertainment, and law firm Hansen, Jacobsen, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.
About the book Saving the Lost Tribe: The Rescue and Redemption of the Ethiopian Jews
Told by the Israeli ambassador who made it happen, this spellbinding book is the story of that incredible rescue–as well as an extraordinary history of the Falashas, the remarkable people whose faith never waivered, even when confronted with enormous atrocities.
Asher Naim knew practically nothing about the Falashas when he was posted to Addis Ababa by the Israeli government in the fall of 1990, but he instantly found himself swept up in their plight. As rebel forces advanced against Ethiopia’s savage dictator, Mengistu Haile Meriam (“the Butcher of Addis”), it became clear that the Falashas would be slaughtered unless they could be snatched from the violence overwhelming their country.
Naim set to work on several fronts simultaneously–negotiating with Mengistu and his deceptively charming right hand man, coordinating logistics and strategy with the Israeli military, frantically raising money through contacts in America. On May 23, Naim realized it was now or never, and word went out to the Israeli air force: Operation Solomon must begin at once. With twenty thousand Falashas crowding the Israeli embassy compound, the first Israeli planes landed at the Addis airport and a team of crack Israeli commandos took position with instructions to protect the operation “at any cost.” Four hours later, the first planeload of Falashas took off for Israel.
For Asher Naim the rescue of the Falashas became a kind of personal quest–a quest not only to free his fellow Jews from tyranny but also to uphold the sacredness of human life. In helping the Falashas realize their three-thousand-year-old dream of returning to Jerusalem, Naim came to a profoundly new understanding of the nature of faith, identity, and the struggle to endure. Saving the Lost Tribe is a magnificent achievement, a story of hope in the face of chaos and redemption on the brink of disaster.