Amazon Studios turning Sundance favorite ‘Selah and the Spades’ into a series

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Lovie Simone in “Selah and the Spades”

Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to “Selah and the Spades,” a riveting look at a prep school drug dealer, according to Variety.

The film marked the feature film debut of writer-director Tayarisha Poe and had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it was a critical smash. It also recently screened at BAMcinemaFest.

Amazon is developing an original series based on the teen drama, which Poe will write, direct and produce, along with Lauren McBride who also produced the film.

“I’m thrilled that ‘Selah and The Spades’ has found a home with Amazon Studios, and doubly excited to see the world of The Haldwell School expand and develop in the serial format,” said Poe in a statement. “I’d always hoped to work with a company that realized the multi-format potential of this fictional world, and truly we have found the ideal partners with Amazon.”

“Selah and the Spades” is set in the esteemed Haldwell Boarding School, where Selah is in charge of one of the most powerful student factions, the Spades, the group responsible for selling most of the drugs and alcohol on campus. She’s also a star student getting to graduate, so she is looking to find someone to succeed her as leader of the Spades.

“Selah and the Spades” stars Lovie Simone, who drew raves for her work as Selah, along with Celeste O’Connor, Jharrel Jerome, Gina Torres, Jesse Williams, Henry Hunter Hall and Evan Roe.

The film also was produced by Secret Engine’s Lucas Joaquin and Drew Houpt and Argent Pictures’ Jill Ahrens. Executive producers include Argent partners Ryan Ahrens, Ben Renzo, Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Michael Finley, Derrick Brooks, Terence Nance, Jenifer Westphal, Cinereach, Julie Parker Benello, Wavelength Productions, Nancy Stephens Rosenthal, Chaz Ebert and Alex Scharfman. Stephanie DeVaan, David Chan, Kenneth and Elizabeth Whitney and Gottfried and Janet Tittiger are serving as co-executive producers.

“’Selah and The Spades’ is a fun and addictive story that immediately draws you in,” Matt Newman, co-head of movies at Amazon Studios said. “I’m so excited to bring filmmaker Tayarisha Poe into the Amazon Studios family — she has such a unique and beautiful style of storytelling that young audiences everywhere will fall in love with, just as we have.”

-BAM

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