2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #73. Selah and the Spades – Tayarisha Poe
Receiving a ton of support along the way, the micro-budgeted Selah and the Spades went into production this summer in Tayarisha Poe‘s backyard of Philly. She was a Sundance Institute Knight Foundation Fellow in 2016 and her feature project Selah and the Spades went on to receive development support from Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters, Directors, and Creative Producing (for producer Lauren McBride) Labs and Catalyst Forum; Cinereach, IFP, and TribecaAll Access. Cast comprised of Lovie Simone, Celeste O’Connor, Jharrel Jerome, Jesse Williams, Ana Mulvoy Ten, Gina Torres. Anecdote we learned: Poe was a stills photographer on The Fits.
Gist: In Selah and the Spades, factions provide everything the students need to navigate the challenges of adolescence. The most powerful faction is The Spades. With the end of the school year approaching, Selah (Lovie Simone) is confronted with the reality of a future without control as the new sophomore at school, Paloma, journeys deeper into The Spades. As Paloma begins to lead in a different direction from her predecessor, the student begins to outshine the master and Selah becomes determined to reassert her power, no matter the cost.
Production Co./Producers: Lauren McBride, Secret Engine’s Lucas Joaquin and Drew Houpt (Frankie), Argent Pictures’ Jill Ahrens (They Fight).
Prediction: NEXT section or U.S Dramatic Comp.
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). TBD (international).