Justin Simien, Creator of ‘Dear White People,’ Reteams With Sight Unseen on Feature ‘Bad Hair’

Justin Simien

LOS ANGELES (August 15, 2017) – Justin Simien, writer and director of the critically-acclaimed indie “Dear White People,” announced today that he will be teaming up with Sight Unseen, the newly formed production shingle of Julia Lebedev, Eddie Vaisman, and Oren Moverman on the feature film, “Bad Hair.”  Sight Unseen VP of Development, Angel Lopez, will oversee the film for the company.  Lebedev and Lopez served as producers on Simien’s first feature, Dear White People, as well as Lebedev as executive producer on the subsequent Netflix series of the same name.

Paralleling the rise of New Jack Swing in 1989, “Bad Hair” is a horror satire that follows an ambitious young woman who gets a weave in order to survive the image obsessed world of music television.  Her professional success comes at a higher cost than anticipated, however, when she discovers her new hair may have a mind of its own.  Filled with biting satirical commentary and genre bending thrills, “Bad Hair” marks both an evolution and departure for filmmaker Simien from his “Dear White People” film and television series.

“I’m so excited to be teaming up with Sight Unseen in order to create work that both entertains and holds a mirror up to society,” said Simien.  “This will be both a love letter to black women and a critique of the cultural forces our society puts them through.”

“We are thrilled to be re-teaming with Justin on this brilliant new film. He is a visionary known for creating the world of ‘Dear White People’ and ‘Bad Hair’ will be an exciting new landscape for audiences to enjoy,” Said Lebedev

Justin Simien is a writer, director, and producer of both television and film based in Los Angeles, California.  In 2014, he wrote and directed his first feature film, “Dear White People,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.  After being called “timely and important” by critics and audiences alike, the project won him the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent and was picked up by Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions.

After the theatrical release of “Dear White People” in the Fall of 2014, Simien was awarded Best First Screenplay and nominated for Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards.  The film also earned him a nomination for the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at that year’s Gotham Awards, along with a nomination for the Audience Award.  Actress Tessa Thompson also garnered a Breakthrough Actor win at the Gotham Awards for her leading performance as the fearless and controversial Sam White.  Simien was included in Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” roundup for that year.

Most recently, Simien adapted “Dear White People” into a series for streaming giant Netflix, with many of the original cast returning to continue the story.  Simien created the series in addition to executive producing.  The show currently remains at a coveted and rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for its first season.  Simien is in pre-production on the ten-episode second season, which will premiere in 2018. He is repped by WME, Oasis Media Group and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka.

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Written by Karen M. Peterson

Karen Peterson is a writer from Southern California. When she is not at the ballpark cheering on her LA Angels, she can usually be found in a movie theater or in front of the television. Karen is obsessed with awards shows, and loves everything from the smallest indie film to the biggest of big budget spectacles. She is also unapologetically in love with Tom Cruise.


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