UPDATE 2/05: Shadow And Act has confirmed that Netflix has closed a deal to pick up the film and his planning a theatrical release before it hits streaming.
Blank says in a statement: “It took years of trying to get this film made. It’s my love letter to NY and its struggling artists as well as the NY artistic institutions that raised me – Hip Hop and Theater. I made this film in the spirit of the great NY auteurs who came before me but from an angle not often seen. I’m so very proud of the artisans, many from New York, who helped me craft this movie with such loving and capable hands. As a new member of the Netflix family, I’m excited about the global audience that this film will reach. I hope it will spark the next generation of fearless filmmakers in ANY part of the world. I’m thrilled that this came together with Netflix.”
Previously reported on 2/03: After Bad Hair was snapped up by Hulu late last week, another Sundance 2020 from a Black filmmaker and starring a Black-led cast has been acquired. Netflix is in talks for a mid-to-high seven-figure deal for Radha Blank’s The 40-Year-Old-Version. It is the first Sundance acquisition for Netflix, though they debuted multiple films at the festival from the jump.
Blank is the director, writer and star of the film, which premiered to critical acclaim at the festival and won the Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic.
The logline: A down-on-her-luck New York playwright decides to reinvent herself and salvage her artistic voice the only way she knows how: by becoming a rapper at age 40.
Our Sundance review of the film reads, “Vulnerable but vibrant in all of it’s black, white and grey-hued glory, The 40-Year-Old Version is an ode to BLACK Harlem, fearlessness and the art of putting yourself on. Instead of a typical mid-life-crisis narrative, it’s a reminder that age doesn’t define you. Dreams and aspirations don’t simply fade away in time. In fact, the longer you’ve been navigating this planet (especially as a Black woman), the more you owe it to yourself to do what sets your soul on fire.”
Peter Y. Kim, Oswin Benjamin, Reed Birney, Imani Lewis and TJ Atoms also star.
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