OPRAH WINFREY AND TYLER PERRY ALIGN WITH LIONSGATEÂ® IN
AN UNPRECEDENTED PARTNERSHIP
Studio Acquires North American Distribution Rights From Smokewood Entertainment Group
And Reunites With Academy AwardÂ® Winning Monster's Ball Producer Daniels
LIONSGATEÂ®, a leading next generation studio, announced
today that it has acquired North American distribution rights to 2009 Sundance
Film Festival sensation PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE. Directed by Lee Daniels (SHADOWBOXER), PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY
SAPPHIRE won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic
Competition, only the third film in Festival history to do so. Star Mo'Nique was honored with a Special Jury Prize for acting.
PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE was produced by Daniels, and Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness under
their Smokewood Entertainment Group (S.E.G.) banner; Lisa Cortes and Tom Heller were executive producers.
The screenplay was written by Damien Paul, based on Sapphire's 1996 book. PUSH:
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE stars newcomer Gabourey
"Gabby" Sidibe, Paula Patton (DEJA VU), Mo'Nique (SHADOWBOXER), GrammyÂ® Award-winning artist Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd ("30 Rock") and
GrammyÂ® Award-winning artist Lenny Kravitz. The
deal marks the second collaboration between Lionsgate
and Daniels, who produced the studio's Academy AwardÂ®-winning MONSTER'S
BALL. The announcement was made by Jason Constantine, Lionsgate
President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions.
In an unprecedented partnership, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler
Perry will support Lionsgate's distribution of PUSH:
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE, through their respective motion picture
companies, Harpo Films and 34th Street Films. It will be the first film affiliated
with Perry's 34th Street banner.
"PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE is an
extraordinary film about taking hold of life; to watch it is to be galvanized
and uplifted," said Constantine. "MONSTER'S BALL introduced Lee as a
gifted producer; we believe PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE firmly
establishes him as one of America's finest directors."
Said Daniels, "I know from my MONSTER'S BALL experience that PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE has
found the best home possible. I'm really looking forward to working again with
smart, innovative friends at Lionsgate."
Commented Winfrey, "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."
Added Perry, "I am honored to join
Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate in releasing Lee Daniels'
I was immensely moved by PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE, and wanted to do
whatever I could to help others share in its redemptive experience. Lionsgate is the ideal studio to shepherd this artistically
courageous film to market."
"We like to work with filmmakers who harness instinct
and vision to compelling projects, creating motion pictures that resonate
emotionally with an audience. That is why we chose PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY
SAPPHIRE," said Sarah Siegel-Magness, managing
partner of S.E.G.