EXCLUSIVE: Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing has acquired the coming-of-age drama Jezebel written, co-starring and produced by Numa Perrier. The film is set t stream on Netflix starting January 16, 2020, and will open theatrically in New York, Los Angeles and other select cities in during January.
Jezebel made its world premiere at SXSW earlier this year and Perrier’s real-life experiences. The film follows 19-year-old Tiffany Tiffany Tenille as she navigates her dying mother's financial struggles. By working as an internet fetish cam girl in the 90s, the young woman uses her fantasy world as an escape from her real-life circumstances.
As Perrier’s feature debut, Jezebel won Best Director and Best Narrative Feature at American Black Film Festival as well as the Craig Brewer Emerging Filmmaker Award at the Indie Memphis Film Festival.
“Numa Perrier's directorial debut delivers a beautiful balance of poignancy and humor to reveal truths about women, family and sisterhood in a way we rarely witness,” said ARRAY President Tilane Jones. “Numa's exploration of women's relationships to their bodies, their inner life and their outer world is exciting to witness and we're proud to amplify this new and exciting voice in cinema.”
ARRAY has acquired distribution rights in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The deal was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano on behalf of ARRAY and Stephen D. Barnes of Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner Endlich & Gellman handled negotiations for Perrier.
Jezebel is the fifth acquisition of the year for ARRAY. They previously released Samuel Bazawule’ The Burial of Kojo, Hepi Mita’s Merata and Phillip Youmans’ Burning Cane. Most recently, ARRAY released The Body Remember When the World Broke Open from filmmakers Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn.
Watch the first trailer and check out the poster for Jezebel below.
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: