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‘Dear White People’ Creator Justin Simen Strikes Series Deal ‘to Give a Voice to Those Too Often Unheard’



Two years after “Dear White People” made its theatrical debut, Justin Simien’s crowdfunded film will explore college racism even further in episodic form.

Atlanta Black Star reports the movie is centered on the small Black population at the fictional white college Winchester University. The diverse set of students struggle with racist attitudes in a so-called post-racial society.

After the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014, it became a success. According to Deadline, Simien expressed his desire to turn the movie into a TV show like “A Different World.” In the past year and a half, he looked into continuing the story in series form as campus racism began to dominate headlines.

“During the film’s release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time,” Simien said in a statement. “I’m so grateful to have this platform – not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture but to also tell great stories from new points of views.”

Simien will write the 10-episode series and direct the premiere for Netflix. Each episode will be 30 minutes long. He will also work as the show’s executive producer along with African-American independent movie producer Stephanie Allain Bray, who was part of the film’s team.

Lionsgate will produce the series. Its sister company, Roadside Attractions, filled the role for the movie. Filming will begin later this year, and the series debut is scheduled for 2017.

Around the time of the movie’s release, Simien spoke with Shadow and Act about why he made the film.

“I started writing the ‘Dear White People’ script because I wanted to do something with a cast of color that was unexpected.  Movies that have a certain aesthetic point of view and are maybe a little quirky and untraditional in their storytelling and are telling a very specific story about a very specific experience.”

The website says there’s no word on if members of the film’s original cast will be involved with the new show.

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