Lionsgate & Harpo Films partner for movie starring Chris Rock


MUMBAI: Lionsgate and Harpo Films have partnered to develop the film, Will You Be My Black Friend? starring Chris Rock. The project is based on a magazine article of the same name written by GQ senior correspondent Devin Friedman.

Published in the magazine’s November 2008 edition, "Will You Be My Black Friend?" chronicles Friedman’s unorthodox and admittedly self-conscious quest to make "black friends." The producers of the movie are Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Films president Kate Forte, Harpo Films senior vice president, production Carla Gardini. Lionsgate will distribute worldwide.

Joe Drake, Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President, Mike Paseornek,  and Harpo Films’ Forte.

Winfrey is a co-presenter with Lionsgate on its fall release from director Lee Daniels, Precious: Based On The Novel "Push" By Sapphire.

Lionsgate President of Motion Picture Production Mike Paseornek said, "We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Films by bringing Will You Be My Black Friend? to the screen. The cinematic potential of Will You Be My Black Friend jumped out at us immediately; after all, Devin launches his search for black friends by posting an ad on Craigslist. But what really makes the piece special is Devin’s voice, which is honest, astute and extremely funny. We can’t imagine a better actor to help bring this story to life than Chris Rock, who is simply one of the smartest, boldest comic talents working today."

Harpo Films’ Forte said, "We’re delighted to partner with our friends at Lionsgate on Will You Be My Black Friend? This is a story that takes on themes of race and friendship in a very modern and unexpected way, and we think audiences across the spectrum will find a lot to laugh about and think about."

Gardini brought the project to Harpo Films, and will be supervising the production alongside Paseornek; Lionsgate Director of Development Charisse Nesbit will also be working on the project.