“You get to see these guys go through rituals that bond them as men, especially men in a society that has excluded them all,” says Alfre Woodard at the Sundance Film Festival of the Gerald McMurray directed Burning Sands. “It’s scary, it’s horrific, it’s funny, it’s wild, it’s adventurous – all of that is there,” the Emmy winning and Oscar nomination actor added of the tale of fraternity pledging, brotherhood and morality that debuts today at the Eccles Theater.

“It’s a universal story about how men reach an identity in a world where women are finally being included and recognized,” Woodard also noted of the film when visiting the Deadline Studio at Sundance 2017 presented by Applegate – watch the full interview above.

After its four screenings at Sundance, Burning Sands premiere on Netflix on March 10


The Luke Cage alum was joined in the Deadline Studio by director McMurray, actors Tosin Cole, Trevor Jackson and DeRon Horton as well as EP Common. “When I saw the film it was just a beautiful story about manhood,” the Oscar winner remarked of what compelled him to get on board. “You know you really don’t get to see that in a lot of films, especially dealing with black manhood.”

“Netflix is blowing out that old myth out of the water that African-American stories and stories of people of color do not sell around the world,” Woodard asserted of the streaming service, its global reach and creative choices. “You know what, put it around the world, drop it.”

Visit Deadline throughout the festival for breaking news and the scene from Sundance as well as video interviews with movers and shakers and top talent.

Sundance runs through January 29.

Actors, directors, filmmakers and special guests visiting the Deadline Studio at Sundance 2017 enjoyed sweet and savory treats, custom cocktails and more at Applegate’s REEL FOOD CAFE. Find out more about Applegate and their mission to change the meat we eat at www.applegate.com.