*Major talent firm UTA has swooped up writer-director Dee Rees, whose debut film “Pariah” had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Focus Features picked up worldwide rights to Rees’ teen drama, which had screened opening night of the festival.
Based on an award-winning short Rees screened at Sundance three years earlier, the film stars Adepero Oduye, Charles Parnell, Pernell Walker and Kim Wayans in the story of a teenager in Brooklyn coming to terms with her lesbianism. Focus has a late fall release planned for “Pariah.” [Watch the trailer below.]
Nekisa Cooper produced and Spike Lee is an executive producer.
In addition to joining UTA for representation, Rees also signed with Cinetic Management.
As part of the deal with Focus Features, which Cinetic negotiated, the film company also hired Rees to write another project.
The film’s director of photography, Bradford Young, was given the U.S. dramatic cinematography award at Sundance.
An alumnus of NYU’s graduate film program, Rees was a 2008 Sundance screenwriting and directing lab fellow. She directed the documentary “Eventual Salvation” in 2008.