Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions Acquire 'Dear White People'

The satire about race relations, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, is screening at the current New Directors/New Films fest in New York.

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to Dear White People, the feature debut from L.A.-based director, writer and producer Justin Simien.

The comedy about race relations on a college campus earned a special jury prize for breakthrough talent at the Sundance Film Festival, where it had its world premiere, and is scheduled to screen March 21 and 23 as part of New York New Directors/New Films festival, presented by the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

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The tongue-in-cheek satire, which kicks off when a white fraternity throws an African-American-themed party, stars Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris and Brandon Bell. It was produced by Effie T. Brown, Julia Lebedev, Simien, Angel Lopez, Ann Le and Lena Waithe and exec produced by Stephanie Allain and Leonid Lebedev.

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"Justin Simien is a funny, fresh and current voice with his finger on the millennials' pulse," said Roadside's Howard Cohen. "His crowd-pleasing Dear White People took Sundance by storm, with its sly and extremely topical satire sparking conversations about our supposed 'post-racial,' 21st century America."  

The deal was negotiated by Marc Danon and Jean Chi on behalf of Lionsgate and Roadside, and by WME Global and attorney Irwin M. Rappaport on behalf of the filmmakers.