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Acquisitions – Indie Films

Black is the New Black; Simien’s “Dear White People” Counts on Two for Theatrical Release

Deemed by our Nicholas Bell as a film that is “both prescient and topical in a refreshing representation of modern day’s evolving prejudices”, we can add Dear White People to the list of Sundance Film Festival items that has landed/announced a deal this week. The Wrap reports that Lionsgate Films and Roadside Attractions are once again combining their efforts — landing North American rights to Justin Simien’s debut.

Gist: Sam becomes president of the all-black residential hall Parker/Armstrong, whose existence is facing extinction in the name of diversification. TV reality show Black Face/White Place smells gold in Sam’s story and decides to follow it, rejecting the proposal of fellow black student Coco Conners, who pitched her show Doing Time at an Ivy League. The clamor over Sam’s rise also becomes a career-defining opportunity for black misfit Lionel Higgins when he is asked to join the school’s lily-white newspaper staff to cover the controversy, even though he secretly knows little about black culture.

Worth Noting: This was winner of the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent.

Do We Care?: A witty satire revolving around riots that break out on an Ivy League campus? Sign us up for this debut.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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