Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have jointly acquired writer-director Justin Simien‘s debut feature Dear White People, which snagged the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at Sundance in January. Dear White People takes a satirical look at racial politics among the student body at a fictional Ivy League school where four students navigate issues of black militancy, post-racism, and the commodification of black culture on campus. Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris), Tessa Thompson (Veronica Mars), Teyonah Parris (Mad Men), and Brandon P Bell (Hollywood Heights) star. Simien made a splash in Park City with the pic, which pays homage to predecessors like Spike Lee’s School Daze and Robert Townshend’s Hollywood Shuffle. Ahead of a planned fall 2014 release, Dear White People is set to screen at this weekend’s New Directors/New Films. Dear White People is produced by Effie T. Brown for Duly Noted Inc and Julia Lebedev of Code Red Productions alongside Simien, Angel Lopez, Ann Le and Lena Waithe. Homegrown Pictures’ Stephanie Allain and Leonid Lebedev are exec producers. Marc Danon and Jean Chi negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, with WME Global and attorney Irwin M. Rappaport repping the filmmakers. Simien is repped by WME, Oasis Media Group and Del Shaw.
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