Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios said on Monday it has acquired the 2018 Sundance film “All Rise,” starring Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson.
The film, which was titled “Monster” while in competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, is based on the award-winning and New York Times-bestselling novel of the same name by Walter Dean Myers, which received the Coretta Scott King Award that recognizes outstanding books for young adults and children by African Americans that reflect the African American experience.
“All Rise” tells the story of Steve Harmon (Harrison), a 17-year-old honor student whose world comes crashing down around him when he is charged with felony murder. The film follows his dramatic journey from a smart, likeable film student from Harlem attending an elite high school through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison.
“This is a very important and timely film which inspires and reminds us that together we have the power to make the necessary positive changes,” Allen said in a statement. “This excellent story shows us how every day, African-Americans are positioned to fail in the schoolroom, the boardroom, and the courtroom long before we bleed to death in the streets.”
Entertainment Studios plans to release the film nationwide later this year in the fall.
“All Rise” is veteran commercial and music video director Anthony Mandler’s feature film debut. The screenplay was written by Radha Blank, Colen C. Wiley and Janece Shaffer.
“It was an honor to tell Walter Dean Myers’ timely story and a privilege to bring Steve Harmon to the screen,” Mandler said in a statement. “Today, more than ever, it is vital to see Steve’s journey in a modern nuanced way that reflects the world in which we live.”
The film also stars Golden Globe-winner Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Ehle (“Zero Dark Thirty”), A$AP Rocky, Nas, Tim Blake Nelson (“O Brother, Where Art Thou”) and “BlacKkKlansman’s” John David Washington.
The film was produced by Tonya Lewis Lee, Nikki Silver, Aaron L. Gilbert, Mike Jackson and Edward Tyler Nahem.
“We are thrilled to partner with Byron Allen and Entertainment Studios to bring this dynamic story of the power of art, family and hope to audiences as we all work together towards defining and ensuring a just society for all,” Lee said in a statement.
“All Rise” premiered in the U.S. dramatic competition at the Sundance festival in 2018 and was produced by BRON Studios, Tonik Productions and Get Lifted Film Co. in association with Charlevoix, Red Crown and Creative Wealth Media with Executive Producers John Legend, Jeffrey Wright, Nas, Dan Crown, Yoni Liebling, Jason Cloth, Richard McConnell, Linnea Roberts, Ty Stiklorius, Byron Allen, Carolyn Folks, and Jennifer Lucas.
“We are honored to be a part of ‘All Rise,'” Get Lifted Co.’s Legend, Stiklorius and Mike Jackson said in a statement. “It is an urgent and necessary film that gives a human face to the beautiful, complex young people who are too often treated like they’re disposable by our criminal justice system. We believe this film will inspire and empower the audience to stand up for our common humanity.”