Gabourey Sidibe to make feature film directorial debut on thriller ‘Pale Horse’

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Academy Award-nominated actor Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) will make her feature film directorial debut with the psychological thriller “Pale Horse.” [Photo provided]

Academy Award-nominated actor Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) will make her feature film directorial debut with the psychological thriller “Pale Horse,” which is scheduled to lens in autumn.

Effie T. Brown (“Dear White People”) and Wellington Love (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) are producing on behalf of Gamechanger Films, which developed and co-financed the project, according to Deadline.

Gamechanger Films is a production company and development fund dedicated to multi-platform projects by and about women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities. The company recently ushered in Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut, “Passing,” which starred Tessa Thompson and Oscar nominee Ruth Negga, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Netflix.

Set in the Pacific Northwest, “Pale Horse” centers on Naia, a reclusive African-American author who writes celebrated books for young adults but is  living with multiple sclerosis. She becomes tangled up a sinister mystery when she provides shelter for the man who escaped captivity with her long-missing brother.

“I’m super excited to work with Gamechanger on my first feature!” said Sidibe, per Deadline. “This project is a true stand-out and the character of ‘Naia’ is a Bad Ass! Effie and Wellington are powerhouse visionaries and I’m so excited to be able to work with them to create this gripping thriller with complex characters.”

Asabi Lee and Paul Hart-Wilden, who penned the 2011 feature “Wolf Town,” wrote the “Pale Horse” script. The movie is based on a story by Chris Courtney Martin (the 2015 documentary “The Last Laugh”).

“Stories like ‘Pale Horse’ are long overdue in the entertainment industry and Gamechanger is dedicated to financing and producing them: entertaining films that offer diversity in story-telling, characters, and filmmakers,” Brown said, per Deadline.

“In addition to our development and producing commitments, we plan to demystify the process of production through our social and partnership channels, pulling back the curtain on what it really takes to create a film.  We want people of all communities to feel included in and empowered by this process.”

A Brooklyn native, Sidibe earned an Oscar nomination for best actress for her starring role as an abused teenager in Lee Daniels’ “Precious.” She went on to act in the movies “Antebellum,” “Come as You Are” and the upcoming revenge thriller “Asking for It,” which will make its online debut in June as part of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Sidibe’s television credits include “Empire,” “American Horror Story,” “Difficult People,” “The Big C” and “Drunk History.” She also penned the acclaimed 2017 memoir “This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare.”

“I have known Gabourey for some time,” Brown said, per Deadline, “and am always impressed with her skills as a storyteller, both as an actor or author. She will be an incredible force behind ‘Pale Horse.’”


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