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ARRAY Releasing, the distribution arm of Ava DuVernay’s Peabody Award-winning narrative change collective, announced the acquisition of Thyrone Tommy’s directorial debut, LEARN TO SWIM. An official Toronto Film Festival 2021 selection, the feature drama chronicles the turbulent, tantalizing romance between two young jazz musicians. ARRAY has acquired rights for the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand and will release the film on Netflix and select screens on August 15. The announcement was made today by Tilane Jones, President of ARRAY.

Written by Marni Van Dyk and Thyrone Tommy, LEARN TO SWIM dives into the enchanting world of contemporary jazz with a musical meditation on love and loss, following the doggedly private and talented saxophone player Dezi (Thomas Antony Olajide) and a vivacious, but a less experienced singer named Selma (Emma Ferreira). When the two meet, sparks fly, but their respective emotional baggage and temperaments make the road to romance bumpy at best. In addition to the Toronto Film Festival, LEARN TO SWIM was nominated for the DGC Discovery Award at the 2021 Directors Guild of Canada Awards and was included in TIFF’s Annual Top Ten list for 2021. The film also received two Canadian Screen Award nominations at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2022 and won the award for Best Original Song (“And Then We Don’t” by TiKA and Casey Manierka-Quaile).

Learn To Swim Poster

“With ARRAY Releasing’s summer acquisition of LEARN TO SWIM, we are thrilled to highlight the lyrical directorial debut of Canadian filmmaker Thyrone Tommy. His award-winning film delivers a deeply felt story that addresses tragic loss, matters of the heart, and the resilience of the human spirit,” said Jones.

LEARN TO SWIM is produced by Alona Metzer. The acquisition was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein, and Lezcano on behalf of ARRAY; and Derek Kigongo of APA, Ben Cowley of Goldenberg & Co on behalf of LEARN TO SWIM.