NEW YORK, NY (May, 14 2019) — IFC Films is excited to announce today that it is acquiring U.S. rights to PREMATURE, the provocative second feature film by Rashaad Ernesto Green (2011’s Gun Hill Road), that premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Headlined by a brave, breakout lead performance from actress Zora Howard, who co-wrote the screenplay with Green, PREMATURE also stars Joshua Boone, Michelle Wilson, Alexis Marie Wint, Imani Lewis, and Tashiana Washington. The film was shot on stunning 16mm film in New York City by cinematographer Laura Valladao, and produced by Joy Ganes, Rashaad Ernesto Green and Darren Dean.
PREMATURE is based on a 2008 short film of the same name, also written and directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green, and will have its New York Premiere at BAMCinemaFest on June 15th. IFC Films is planning a theatrical release later in 2019.
Teenager Ayanna (Howard) is making the most out of her last summer in Harlem before heading to an out of state college. She’s not really looking for love—until she meets the handsome twentysomething musician Isaiah (Joshua Boone). After falling for him, Ayanna finds herself torn between her own vulnerability and self-sufficiency. As the story progresses, we understand her desire, heartbreak, and despair though poetry that she writes to express how she feels.
Director Green beautifully captures youthful inhibition through Ayanna’s world in flux: outbursts at home with her mother, deep and intimate encounters with Isaiah, and moments of unfiltered honesty with her girlfriends. The result is a bold portrait of a young woman at a crossroads, anchored by a phenomenal performance by Howard, who unforgettably inhabits Ayanna through her complex, achingly human journey of self-discovery.
Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films said, “Rashaad’s daring filmmaking coupled with a brilliant performance by Zora Howard is exactly the kind of film that we work to support. Without a doubt, PREMATURE marks Rashaad as a major new cinematic voice to contend with.”
Rashaad Ernesto Green added, “This film was a true labor of love. It’s an important story and we’re thrilled that it will be seen by audiences in theaters across the states and beyond. From the very first cut of the film, we felt that IFC Films was the right home for us. They’re the perfect partners and we’re ecstatic to work with them on the release.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco and Aijah Keith of IFC FIlms and Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Recent releases include NON-FICTION directed by Olivier Assayas, DIANE directed by Kent Jones, THE WEDDING GUEST directed by Michael Winterbottom and RED JOAN directed by Trevor Nunn. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD, which the company financed over 12 years, was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, and is considered a landmark in independent cinema; THE DEATH OF STALIN, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE BABADOOK, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Paul Dano, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, Alfonso Cuaron, Noah Baumbach, Lena Dunham, Ethan Hawke and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.