Greg Kwedar directs the feature that focuses on the real-life Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) program run out of the eponymous prison that sees the incarcerated producing and acting in stage productions. The story centers on the friendship of RTA alumni John “Divine G” Whitfield (portrayed by Domingo) and Clarence “Divine Eye” Maclin, who plays himself, as they stage an original production.
Outside of Oscar nominee Paul Paci, who plays the program’s resident director, the rest of the ensemble cast is made up of formerly incarcerated performers who went through the RTA program.
Black Bear, the Marfa Peach Company and Edith Productions financed and produced the film, which was written by Clint Bentley, Brent Buell and Kwedar.
“The film has an unhurried pace that some might find taxing. But patient audiences will find the experience rewarding, especially as the film invites independent research about the program and the filmmaking team’s own ethical production model,” reads The Hollywood Reporter review of the film.
CAA Media Finance negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. Black Bear is selling international territories.
This deal comes prior to the close of the Toronto fest, which has seen a smattering of deals. In a low eight-figure deal, Netflix landed the rights to Anna Kendrick’s directorial debut Woman of the Hour.