Lionsgate & Roadside Attractions Acquire Justin Simien’s Dear White People


A lot of movies were bought at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but there’s always a few stragglers that don’t find distribution immediately despite faring well at the festival. One of those cases is Justin Simien’s satire Dear White People, a feature film based on his short film that went viral a few years back. Now, it looks like Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have decided to team up to bring Simien’s movie to North American theaters.

Set at a Midwestern University that’s been experiencing difficulties between its white and black populations, the movie’s perspective is seen through the eyes of four very different African-Americans including shy Lionel (Tyler James Williams), who is being bullied by his white fratmates, Tessa Thompson’s militant DJ Samantha White, overachiever Troy (Brandon Bell) and Teyonah Parris’ Coco. Things escalate when one of the fraternities decides to throw an “African-American Party” causing even further tension.

Also starring Dennis Haysbert and Kyle Gallner, Dear White People will play as part of Lincoln Center and MOMA’s New Directors/New Films, which kicked off tonight, following its Sundance premiere earlier this year.