Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 9:00 am.
As reported, Lee Daniels‘ Push won big at the Sundance Film Festival, but did not have a distribution deal. Recently, Lionsgate snatched up the film that according to Variety.com is the biggest deal to come out of the Sundance Film Festival. The deal was assisted with the help of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry.
“Lionsgate reportedly paid north of $5 million. Studio intends to release the film, based on the 1996 book about a Harlem teenager, this year.
Winfrey’s and Perry’s support sweetened the deal for Lionsgate and the filmmakers. The pair will throw their marketing muscle behind the release of the pic through their respective companies, Harpo Films and 34th Street Films.
Directed by Lee Daniels from an adapted script by Damien Paul, ‘Push’ also stars newcomer Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz. Project reteams Lionsgate and Daniels, who has signed with the William Morris Agency, for the first time since ‘Monster’s Ball.’
‘Push’ revolves around an overweight, illiterate African-American teen in Harlem who’s about to give birth to her second child when she is accepted into an alternative school.
‘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,’ Winfrey said.”
Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 12:10 am.
On December 18th, 1985, The Color Purple was released in the U.S. The movie would feature an unknown Whoopi Golderg in the starring role of Celie, an already established actor with Danny Glover as Albert/Mister, and a local news anchor named Oprah Winfrey as Sofia. Directed by Steven Spielberg, The Color Purple was originally met with bad reviews. Critics bashed Spielberg for straying far from the book and making the film too “soft.” Nonetheless, The Color Purple garnered eleven Oscar nominations and the fans spoke — this film was a classic.
The Color Purple was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker. The book dealt with complex issues such as domestic abuse, homosexuality, sexism, and racism. When Walker gave permission to remake the film, she insisted on three things: approval of the script, approval of the director (an already famous Steven Spielberg had to audition for Walker) and that the crew behind the scenes be at least 50% people of color. All of these requests were met.
Famously, after eleven Oscar nominations, including Goldberg for best actress and Winfrey for best supporting actress — The Color Purple lost every single Oscar, even down to best makeup. Spielberg didn’t even receive a best director nod.
The Color Purple would gross over 94 million dollars at the box office and was #4 in the yearly rankings for 1985. The film goes down in history as one of the few films with an African-American cast and a high production budget. Twenty-three years later, we still haven’t seen anything quite like it.