Robert Simonds' STX Films Acquires Rights to THE BEST OF ENEMIES Starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell
STXfilms, a division of Robert Simonds' global, next-generation media company STX Entertainment, announced today that it has acquired domestic distribution rights to Astute Films' THE BEST OF ENEMIES. The timely drama from first-time director Robin Bissell stars Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures) and Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Additionally, BAFTA TV Award-nominee Babou Ceesay (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Anne Heche (John Q), Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Bruce McGill (Lincoln), Tony Award-winner John Gallagher Jr. (Short Term 12) and Nick Searcy (The Shape of Water) lead the supporting cast. Bissell also wrote the screenplay which was inspired by the true events chronicled in The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South, by Osha Gray Davidson. Producers include Danny Strong, Fred Bernstein, Matt Berenson, Bissell, Dominique Telson, and Material Pictures' Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe. Rick Jackson and Jeremiah Samuels are executive producers.
Based on a true story, THE BEST OF ENEMIES centers on the unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater (Henson), an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis (Rockwell), a local Ku Klux Klan leader who reluctantly co-chaired a community summit, battling over the desegregation of schools in Durham, North Carolina during the racially-charged summer of 1971. The incredible events that unfolded would change Durham and the lives of Atwater and Ellis forever.
"Robin Bissell crafted a beautiful look at this unlikely friendship that arose from one of the most unsettling times in our country's history, with Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell, and the entire cast delivering riveting performances," said Adam Fogelson, Chairman of STXfilms. "STXfilms is proud to come on board for this important and entertaining film that will resonate and evoke dialogue about the TIMELESS humanity that is at the heart of this powerful story."
The deal was brokered by UTA Independent Film Group.
Henson is represented by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham. Bissell is represented by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Bloom Hergott Diemer. John Gallagher Jr. is represented by UTA, Wetzel Entertainment Group and Morris Yorn.
STXfilms is a division of STX Entertainment, a global, next-generation media company whose mission is to unlock the value of the direct connection stars have with their fans through the development, financing, production, marketing and distribution of film, television, VR, digital video, music and live entertainment content. It is the industry leader in transforming BEYOND traditional platform-driven content to creating talent-driven enterprises.
The company is led by accomplished businessman Robert Simonds and was co-founded by Bill McGlashan, managing partner of the leading global private investment firm TPG. Other investors include Hony Capital, a leading private equity firm in China; PCCW, Southeast Asia's largest Internet and cable services provider; Tencent Holdings, China's leading provider of online products and services; Liberty Global, the world's largest distribution platform; Dominic Ng, Chairman of East West Bank; New Enterprise Associates (NEA); DNS Capital (representing the business interests of Gigi Pritzker and her immediate family); and Beau Wrigley, former Chairman and CEO of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, among others. With these strategic relationships, the company is uniquely positioned to maximize the impact of content worldwide, with direct passage into the China market.
For more information, please visit http://www.stxentertainment.com.
About Astute Films
Astute Films is a privately-funded motion picture financing and production company based in Los Angeles. Rick Jackson and Fred Bernstein created Astute Films to facilitate the production of movies that both entertain and matter - movies like The Best of Enemies.