*Fox Searchlight just paid more than $4 million at Sundance for world rights to “Step,” a film about a step dance team in the charter school The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women.
According to Deadline, the documentary “drew bidders like few docus do.” Fox Searchlight bought both distribution and remake rights for the Amanda Lipitz-directed film.
The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women opened in 2009 with a mandate to send every student to college, despite the barriers that their home lives and community might present. Now, as the first class enters its senior year, the stakes are high to achieve that purpose.
The film follows three irrepressible seniors and their “Lethal Ladies” step dance team as they navigate a nerve-wracking college application process and the trials and tribulations of the tenacious young women, as well as their mothers, an unstoppable college counselor, and a no-nonsense step coach.
According to Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr, Fox Searchlight has not done many documentaries, but has vowed to give this work a major theatrical push – which is why they won the deal. Lipitz said the filmmaker team “allowed for proceeds from the sale to go towards scholarships for each of the 19 girls on the step team that came to Sundance as well as a generous donation to the school so that it can continue to transform Baltimore one young woman at a time.”
Fleming Jr. added: “Lipitz is a Broadway producer so don’t be surprised if a stage version of this is in the cards.”
Watch a Sundance featurette on Lipitz and “Step” below: