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Justin Simien - Bad Hair

Festival Predictions

2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #9. Justin Simien – Bad Hair

2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #9. Justin Simien – Bad Hair

If it weren’t for Chapman University and subsequent Dear White People (winner of the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival) then we perhaps would not have his sophomore film, Bad Hair. In between features, Justin Simien extended his breakout Sundance film into the series, and sometime August of 2017, the stars aligned for a somewhat secretive project which is under wraps. Starring Vanessa Williams, Laverne Cox and Michelle Hurd, folks are already calling this a Get Out – combining two distinctly different genres for an on point commentary. We thought his debut was a “witty satire revolving around riots that break out on an Ivy League campus after a white students hosts an ‘African-American’ themed party, and feels like the early daze of Spike Lee.” Ice Cube might want to take note.

Rooftop Films 2019

Gist: Paralleling the rise of New Jack Swing in 1989, Bad Hair is a horror satire that follows an ambitious young woman who gets a weave in order to survive the image obsessed world of music television. Her professional success comes at a higher cost than anticipated, however, when she discovers her new hair may have a mind of its own.

Production Co./Producers: Sight Unseen’s Julia Lebedev, Eddie Vaisman and Angel Lopez (State Like Sleep).

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Competition or Midnight.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). TBD (international)


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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