One of only three films to win both the Audience Dramatic and Jury Awards at the Sundance Film Festival, “Push: Based on a novel by Sapphire” finally has a home. According to Variety, Lee Daniels’ powerful drama has been acquired by Lionsgate with African-American icons Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry coming on board to promote the film.
In a deal said to be north of $5 million, Lionsgate plans on releasing the picture, which features a jaw dropping performance by special jury prize winner Mo’Nique, later this year.
“Push” centers on Princess (Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe), an overweight and sexually abused teen who finds hope in alternative school. Mo’Nique plays her monster of a mother who is suffering from her own demons. The film also stars Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd and Lenny Kravitz.
In a statement, Winfrey said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. The moment I saw ‘Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire,’ I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to encourage other people to see this movie. The film is so raw and powerful — it split me open.”
The first outside partnership for Perry’s 34th Street Films, the populist filmmaker said, “I am honored to join Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate in releasing Lee Daniels’ exceptional film.”
“Push” reunites Daniels with Lionsgate after the director teamed with the studio as a producer on the Oscar-winning “Monster’s Ball.”
Read HitFix’s review of “Push: Based on a novel by Sapphire” from this year’s Sundance Film Festival here.