Transatlantic is excited to announce that Damon D’Oliveira and Clement Virgo of Conquering Lion Pictures, known for their acclaimed works, Brother and The Book of Negroes, have secured the highly anticipated film and television rights to Catherine Hernandez’s upcoming novel BEHIND YOU, set to be published on May 7, 2024.

Hernandez, the best-selling and prize-winning novel author of Scarborough, will adapt her own novel for the big screen. BEHIND YOU examines the insidiousness of rape culture through the dual narrative of a young Filipina growing into womanhood while a nameless serial killer is at large in her Scarborough neighbourhood, and the same woman years later watching her teenage son’s behaviour with increasing fear. 

The novel serves as Hernandez’s eagerly awaited follow-up to her national bestseller, The Story of Us. Hernandez says, “I knew Conquering Lion Pictures was the right home for the film adaptation of BEHIND YOU simply because when I declared my desire to pen the screenplay myself, Clement Virgo casually said, ‘Yeah. You know what you’re doing.’ You rarely hear that as a racialized woman in the media industry. And given the journey of my novel’s protagonist from scarred to self-assured woman in the face of misogyny, it felt empowering to begin the script fueled by Conquering Lion Pictures’ guidance and confidence in me. I wholeheartedly trust them as well. Given their track record of outstanding adaptations, from The Book of Negroes to Brother, I know this sensitive story is in compassionate, accomplished hands.”

Clement Virgo and Damon D’Oliveira , co-founders of Conquering Lion Pictures, expressed their enthusiasm for the project: “Catherine has crafted an unapologetic story that explores timely themes in an astonishingly fresh voice. As with our previous slate, we look forward to producing an adaptation of this compelling story for the screen.”

Rights were sold by Samantha Haywood at Transatlantic Literary Agency. Damon D’Oliveira negotiated the deal on behalf of Conquering Lion Pictures.

About Catherine Hernandez:

Catherine Hernandez is an award-winning author and screenwriter. She is a proud queer woman who is of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian descent and married into the Navajo Nation. Her first novel, SCARBOROUGH, won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award, the Edmund White Award, and the Trillium Book Award; and a finalist for Canada Reads 2022. She wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of SCARBOROUGH, produced by Compy Films and levelFILM. It was the 1st runner-up for the coveted People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, won the Shawn Mendes Foundation Changemaker Award, was nominated for 11 Canadian Screen Awards and won eight including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film won the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and was named #3 of the 20 Greatest Toronto Movies Ever Made by the Globe and Mail. Her second novel, CROSSHAIRS, published simultaneously in Canada, the US and the UK, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and made the CBC’s Best Canadian Fiction, NOW Magazine’s 10 Best Books, Indigo Best Book, Audible Best Audiobooks and NBC 20 Best LGBTQ Books list of 2020. Her third novel, THE STORY OF US, was an instant national bestseller. Her fourth novel, BEHIND YOU, launches on May 7. She is currently working on a few television projects.

Catherine is represented by Samantha Haywood.

About Conquering Lion:

Conquering Lion Pictures is a dynamic, independent Canadian production company under the leadership of partners Damon D’Oliveira and Clement Virgo with a company focus of bringing compelling, underserved voices to the screen. Their most recent feature, BROTHER, based on the novel by David Chariandy, premiered at TIFF in 2022, won a record-breaking 12 Canadian Screen Awards and two NAACP Awards for Best Independent and Best International Feature. Conquering Lion’s first feature, RUDE, premiered at Cannes in 1995 and played over 35 festivals worldwide including TIFF and Sundance. In 2019, RUDE was presented again as part of the Locarno Film Festival’s Blacklight Retrospective, showcasing seminal Black cinema of the 20th century. Other feature films include POOR BOY’S GAME and LIE WITH ME, which both played top tier festivals including Berlinale, Pusan and TIFF. In 2015, CLP premiered its six-part CBC/BET adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s THE BOOK OF NEGROES to record breaking numbers in Canada and to huge audiences in the US. A co-production with South Africa, the mini-series also received 12 Canadian Screen Awards, U.S. Critics’ Choice Television Award nominations for Best Limited Series and Best Actress in a Limited Series (Aunjanue Ellis), and won the NAACP Award for Best Writing in a TV Movie or Miniseries for Virgo and Lawrence Hill. It was also a finalist for the 2016 Peabody Awards.