Showtime Documentary Films has acquired the worldwide rights to “Cusp,” a film that was a prize winner at this year’s Sundance and follows a trio of teenage girls in a small, military town in Texas.
Directors Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt won the Emerging Filmmaker Special Jury Award for “Cusp” at Sundance. Showtime plans to give it a theatrical release ahead of a network premiere later this year.
Set in a small military town in Texas, “Cusp” chases three wild-spirited teenage girls as they live out a fever-dream summer, when the strict nature of adolescence clashes with the growing desire for personal agency. The film is shot in a cinema vérité style and captures authentic moments of female friendship while examining what it means to grow up in a culture of toxic masculinity. Though the girls’ experiences are completely unique to their upbringing, “Cusp” is also a universal coming-of-age tale that is at times funny, tragic, complicated and stirring.
“We are thrilled to be working with Parker and Isabel, who, much like their subjects, are on their own cusp with this emotional and striking first feature,” Vinnie Malhotra, EVP Nonfiction Programming, Showtime Networks, said in a statement. “The raw intimacy they capture, and the stories they draw from their subjects, are incredible when you consider where they are in their careers.”
“We are honored to be partnering with Vinnie and the team at Showtime to share ‘Cusp’ with audiences around the world,” Hill and Bethencourt said. “Their fearless dedication to uplifting bold and unflinching stories is inspiring. We’re forever grateful to the incredible young women who shared their lives with us, and we hope that their bravery and strength encourage others to feel less alone and speak up.”
“This is the kind of film we love – fearless, honest and unflinching – and Showtime is the perfect partner to bring this story to the world,” Jenifer Westphal, founder and CEO of Wavelength and the film’s executive producer said in a statement.
“‘Cusp’ is a profound piece of filmmaking. What Isabel and Parker have accomplished is extraordinary,” Chris Columbus, president of Maiden Voyage Pictures and executive producer, said. “The cinema vérité look into these young women’s lives is emotionally devastating and unlike anything I’ve ever seen in American film. At Maiden Voyage, we are honored to be executive producers of ‘Cusp.’ And we are thrilled to be partnering with Showtime.”
Hill is a writer-director and photographer who graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her thesis film, “One Good Pitch,” premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, and her short film “Homing In” screened at the 2017 BFI London Film Festival. Bethencourt is a filmmaker and photographer who graduated from New York University. Her work as a director and cinematographer has been published by the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, GQ and Teen Vogue.
“Cusp” is produced by Zachary Luke Kislevitz for Kislevitz Films, along with Hill and Bethencourt, and executive produced by Chris Columbus and Eleanor Columbus for Maiden Voyage Pictures, Joe Plummer and Jenifer Westphal for Wavelength, and Caitlin Gold and Naomi McDougall Jones for The 51 Fund.