Krystin Ver Linden’s ‘Alice,’ starring Keke Palmer, acquired ahead of Sundance Film Festival premiere

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Keke Palmer and Common star in “Alice.” [Photo by Eliza Morse / Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment]

Ahead of its upcoming world premiere as part of the Sundance Film Festival, Vertical Entertainment and Roadside Attractions have snapped up U.S. rights to the dramatic thriller “Alice,” written and directed by Krystin Ver Linden (“American Roulette”).

The highly anticipated film marks the feature debut of Ver Linden, who was recently named one of Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” for 2022.

“Alice” will be released theatrically on March 18, according to a news release.

“As soon as we saw ‘Alice,’ we knew we had to take it off the market before its Sundance debut,” said Vertical Entertainment Partner Peter Jarowey in a statement. “It is that rare film that is at once important, enlightening and extremely entertaining. Together, Krystin and Keke take us on an inspiring and unforgettable journey that offers a fresh perspective on a little-known and troubling part of our nation’s history.”

The film stars Keke Palmer (“Hustlers,” “Scream Queens”) as Alice, an enslaved person yearning for freedom on a rural Georgia plantation under its brutal and disturbed owner, Paul (Jonny Lee Miller, “The Crown”). After a violent clash with Paul, she flees through the neighboring woods and stumbles onto the unfamiliar sight of a highway, soon discovering the year is actually 1973. Rescued on the roadside by a disillusioned political activist named Frank (Common, “John Wick: Chapter 2”), Alice quickly comprehends the lies that have kept her in bondage and the promise of Black liberation.

Inspired by true accounts, “Alice” is a modern empowerment fable tracing Alice’s journey through the post-Civil Rights Era American South.

“We are extremely excited to be bringing Krystin Ver Linden’s brilliant feature debut ‘Alice’ to U.S. audiences,” said Roadside Attractions Co-Presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff in a joint statement. “It features an outstanding cast led by Keke Palmer’s powerful, multi-faceted performance, which confirms her remarkable abilities as a dramatic actress.”

In addition to Palmer, Common and Miller, the film stars Gaius Charles (“Salt,” “The Messenger”), Alicia Witt (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Nashville”), Craig Stark (“Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood”), and Shiquita James (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”). The music was produced and songs curated by Common, Karrien Riggins and Patrick Warren.

“Alice” was financed and produced by Peter Lawson (“John Wick”) under his Steel Springs Pictures banner.

“Alice has been such a special and emotional project from the beginning with the prodigious talent that is Keke Palmer, standout performances from Common and Jonny Lee Miller as well as Krystin’s incredible storytelling and vision,” Lawson said in a statement. “We always set out to make a theatrical picture and are delighted to have Roadside Attractions and Vertical Entertainment on board to bring our film to the big screen and beyond.”

Palmer and Common are executive producers on Alice alongside Jose Agustin Valdes and Vickie de Varona Hsieh.

The deal was negotiated by Jarowey and Senior Vice President of Acquisitions Tony Piantedosi on behalf of Vertical Entertainment, by Cohen and Senior Director of Acquisitions Angel An on behalf of Roadside Attractions, and by CAA Media Finance and Verve Ventures on behalf of the filmmakers.

Due to the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival recently announced that this year’s festival is going fully online. Scheduled for Jan. 20-30, the Sundance Film Festival will now be online at Festival.Sundance.org.

For more information, go to www.sundance.org.

-BAM

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