Oprah & Tyler Perry align with Lionsgate for Daniels’ film

MUMBAI: Lionsgate has acquired North American distribution rights to 2009 Sundance Film Festival sensation Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire. Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry will support Lionsgate’s distribution of the movie 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.

Directed by Lee Daniels, Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition, only the third film in the festival history to do so. Star Mo’Nique was honored with a Special Jury Prize for acting. Push 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, Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire stars newcomer Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd and Lenny Kravitz. The deal marks the second collaboration between Lionsgate and Daniels, who produced Monster’s Ball. The announcement was made by Lionsgate president acquisitions and co-productions Jason Constantine.

"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. 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 Constantine.

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."