Grammy, Emmy, and Tony award-winning triple threat talent Cynthia Erivo emotionally unzips herself for moving film “Drift,” the first project she has produced to be released.

The Oscar-nominated actress leads the independent film, which debuted at Sundance earlier this year. Based on Alexander Maksik’s 2013 novel “A Marker to Measure Drift,” the film follows a refugee who crosses paths with a lonesome tour guide in Greece.

The official synopsis reads: “Jacqueline (Erivo), a young refugee, lands alone and penniless on a Greek island, where she tries first to survive and then to cope with her past. While gathering her strength, she begins a friendship with rootless tour-guide Callie (Alia Shawkat) and together they find the resilience to forge ahead.”

Ibrahima Ba, Honor Swinton Byrne, Zainab Jah, Suzy Bemba, and Vincent Vermignon also star.

“Drift” is the English-language debut of Camera d’Or-winning director Anthony Chen (“Ilo Ilo”), who won the coveted Cannes Film Festival award in 2013, the same year the novel was released.

Lead actress/producer Erivo exclusively told IndieWire that she was attached to the adaptation of “Drift” for years, with late actor/director Bill Paxton originally set to helm the film. Paxton’s widow encouraged the film still get made, with Erivo producing.

“I was in with ‘Drift’ pretty early on. I got the script in 2015, 2016. I was still doing ‘The Color Purple’ on Broadway. It was originally supposed to be directed by Bill Paxton, and he passed away, sadly, and after that, I kind of thought [the film] was dead. I thought it was not coming back again. I didn’t think we’d have a chance to do it,” Erivo said. “But then his wife kindly extended her permission to continue to make the film and she said that he would want it to be made. That’s when we started our conversations to make sure that we kind of knew what we wanted with the film. We sort of adjusted and changed the script a little bit, but it still felt really, really special.”

Erivo added, “I was in from the very beginning as just an actress and when I came back again, it felt appropriate to be both, as a producer.”

As “Drift” is an entirely independent production through an Equity deal, the film is exempt from SAG-AFTRA restrictions amid the ongoing strike. Erivo along with producing partner Solome Williams were “all-in” from the start.

“I knew every step of the way I knew what was going on,” Erivo said. “I knew we were going to try and shoot it on location in Greece, which made me really happy. … It was kind of thrilling also to be able to wear all those hats up once and to watch as I have had an active hand in making this piece come to fruition.”

“Drift” is written by Susanne Farrell and novelist Maksik. In addition to Erivo and her producing partner Williams and director Chen, Naima Abed, Emilie Georges, and Peter Spears also produce. Lauran Bromley, Yaping Li, Teoh Yi Ping, Kevin Sun, and Erin Xie served as executive producers, with co-producers Giorgos Karnavas and Konstantinos Kontovrakis.

“Drift” is currently available for Academy members to watch on the Academy Screening Room for an awards-qualifying release to spotlight the film, including Erivo’s original song “It Would Be.”

“Drift” premieres in select theaters February 9 in New York City followed by a national expansion by distributor Utopia. Check out the trailer below.

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