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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 (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member 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 served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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