Production Has Begun On Screenwriter Radha Blank's New Comedy THE 40-YEAR-OLD VERSION
It was announced today that production has begun on Playwright, Screenwriter and Producer Radha Blank's (SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT, EMPIRE) all-new comedy, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VERSION. Filmed on location in New York City, the film is written by Blank who, in her directorial debut, also leads the cast which includes Peter Kim (SATURDAY CHURCH, THE GOD COMMITTEE) and hip hop wonderkind, Oswin Benjamin, who makes his feature film acting debut.
THE 40-YEAR-OLD VERSION tells the story of a down-on-her-luck New York playwright who decides to reinvent herself and salvage her artistic voice the only way she knows how...by becoming a rapper... at age 40. This film creatively blends real life and fiction together to follow its protagonist as she vacillates between the worlds of New York's theater and hip hop scenes, places where a black woman's voice is still often marginalized.
This ground-breaking film will be shot almost entirely on 35mm black and white film by award-winning cinematographer Eric Branco, the eye behind Chinonye Chukwu's CLEMENCY (winner, Best Film, 2019 Sundance Film Festival). The Sundance Institute has been of great support to Radha and this project as the project was selected for development in their 2017 Screenwriters and Directors labs.
"As a native New Yorker raised on cinema, I've been waiting my entire life to see someone who looks like me in the center of a classic New York film," said Blank. "And now thanks to the amazing support of Jordan, Lena and the rest of the talented team of producers, I get to make my dream come true, adding THE 40-YEAR-OLD VERSION, a love letter to my great hometown, to the canon of New York films."
"Radha Blank is a rare talent. She's unlike anyone I've ever met - and I wanted to do everything in my power to help get this movie made," added Waithe. "I'm grateful to my team at Hillman Grad Productions and of course Jordan Fudge for believing in this writer / director / actress / emcee's vision. It's one to behold."
Producers on THE 40-YEAR-OLD VERSION include Lena Waithe (QUEEN & SLIM, THE CHI, BOOMERANG), Inuka Bacote (EASTSIDERS), and Jennifer Semler. The film is also produced and fully financed by Jordan Fudge under his New Slate Ventures banner. Rishi Rajani (BOOMERANG) and Trevite Willis (CARGO, BLOOD BOUND) are set to executive produce the film.
Hillman Grad Productions is a production company run by Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani specializing in film, TV, commercials, and music videos. The company currently has projects in production and development at Universal, Netflix, Disney, BET, Showtime, HBO, and Amazon.