While he’s acted for over two decades in films from Steven Spielberg, Ava DuVernay, Christopher Nolan, Lee Daniels, Mira Nair, and more, David Oyelowo recently embarked on his directorial debut, The Water Man. The family-friendly adventure had its premiere at TIFF last fall and now ahead of a May 7 release, the first trailer has landed. Starring Oyelowo, along with Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina, and Maria Bell, the film follows a boy who goes on a search for everlasting life to help cure his mother’s illness.

“I grew up loving family films that have adventure, fantasy and jeopardy whilst never patronizing their young protagonists,” Oyelowo said. “As a father to four children I want to share films with my kids that both entertain and equip them for the highs and lows that lie ahead. I relish watching films with them that both transport our family to a different world and then leave us having meaningful conversations. I love films that do that, so I set out to make one for them, other families and hopefully, the whole world!”

Jared Mobarak said in his TIFF review, “Directed by Oyelowo in his feature debut, the story gets to the heart of grief, helplessness, and the hope we need to combat them, as those family-friendly adventure films of the eighties did before our storytellers started shutting the door on subsequent generations like Mary and Amos do Gunner. This film seeks to speak to its audience without patronization or sanitation. It looks to depict death as a tragic yet necessary event we all experience in time. And it follows in the footsteps of recent dark fantasies like A Monster Calls and I Kill Giants to remind us that our kids are stronger than we think. Their pain deserves respect.”

Watch the trailer below.

The Water Man opens in theaters on May 7.

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