“I knew for this particular work to function as a movie, it had to have a distinctive style,” says former Focus Features chief James Schamus about his feature directorial debut Indignation, “I didn’t want to box my actors into a particular, exact approach that would not let them breath.”

After penning a number of Ang Lee movies such as Taking Woodstock, The Hulk; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Lust, Caution, Schamus got behind the camera with an adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel about the son of a Kosher butcher who falls for an eclectic, gorgeous blonde girl at his Ohio college against the suffocating morality and sexual repression of the 1950s. Here, Schamus speaks here about his attraction to Roth’s material, which the former film exec initially took a crack at during his Focus days. Having shepherded a slew of Oscar-winning movies, Schamus also speaks about the state of adult feature dramas as well as his adaptation of Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth for Lionsgate.

Indignation‘s North American rights were sold to Summit Entertainment for $2.5M on Monday three hours after its Sunday premiere. Deadline’s Sundance production team includes Leica Camera USA, Rotolight, Ben Turok and Sydney Cahoon as camera operators, John Kreidler as DP and Sal Castellanos as editor. Indignation screens Friday at the Redstone Cinema, Saturday at Perry’s Egyptian Cinema and Sunday at The Grand Theatre.