Lionsgate Acquires Sundance “Push”

Lionsgate 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), Grammy® Award-winning artist Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd (“30 Rock”) and Grammy® Award-winning artist Lenny Kravitz.

The deal marks the second collaboration between Lionsgate and Daniels, who produced the studio’s Academy Award®-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.