Private Project

ZOO (screenplay)

A misunderstanding between three young men and a troubled off-duty police officer escalates beyond control when a sudden reversal of power dynamics forces the bunch to a point of no return.

  • Will Niava
    Paradise (Co-written with Oscar Nominated Director, Jeremy Comte)
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Writer Biography - Will Niava

Will Niava is an Ivorian-Ghanaian film director based in Montreal, Canada. After his education in Film Production at the Melhoppenheim School of Cinema, Will directed and edited various projects among which his very own directing debut “ZOO”.
Will is also preparing his first feature film experience, co-writing alongside his best friend and Oscar Nominated Director, Jérémy Comte.
Will's passion for storytelling as well as his background in stage acting have paved his journey through the world of cinema.

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Writer Statement

Growing up in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the experience of police violence is something that I have suffered through myself and also witnessed on numerous occasions. Back home, when the police find weed on you, they seriously rough you up but they usually just want money in exchange for your freedom. In North America, you can't be as free as a person of color because it literally feels like your life is at stake during any sort of encounter with the authorities. In Canada specifically, although Marijuana is legal, there are still so many laws around it that are unknown to the common public.

I know that people have become so desensitized to the subject of police violence. The majority of people stay dead silent, watching our brothers and sisters get gunned down every single week. This film should serve as a reminder of our struggle. Racial discrimination is not the sole theme of this story. It also brings up issues within friendship, fatherhood and drug addiction.

I wanted to tell a story that related to my experience with police brutality but it had to have a Quebec twist to it. I wanted to depict how fast things can get out of hand when dealing with a troubled person. A story that would arise from an individual’s inner conflict while demonstrating the consequences of his mistakes.