Philadelphia-based director and 2016 Sundance Institute Knight Foundation Fellow Tayarisha Poe is ready to shake up Hollywood with her upcoming debut dramatic film, Selah and the Spades.
According to Deadline, Poe’s debut film will star Lovie Simone as the titular character, along with Jesse Williams, Gina Torres, Jharrel Jerome, Celeste O’Connor and Ana Mulvoy-Ten.
Set near Philadelphia, Selah and the Spades is a coming-of-age film that focuses on the allure of power and what people will do to keep said power, even if it means abusing it. Selah is one such person; according to the film’s website, she is the leader of The Spades, a controlling student body faction at her boarding school, The Holden School. She wants to keep her power, so she starts grooming a new student, Paloma, to be her successor.
“With the end of the school year approaching, Selah is confronted with the reality of a future without control…And as Paloma journeys deeper into The Spades, she begins to own her new responsibilities and lead in a different direction from her predecessor,” states the site. “The student begins to outshine the master, and Selah becomes determined to reassert her power, no matter the cost.”
According to Deadline, Selah and the Spades has received support from various organizations including “Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters, Directors, and Creative Producing Labs and Catalyst Forum; Cinereach, IFP, Tribeca All Access, The Leeway Foundation, and Small But Mighty Arts.”