“Dear White People,” the independently-produced, crowd-funded hilarious movie which won the Jury Prize during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, will finally reach the big screen on Oct. 17.

Produced and written by Justin Simien, the satirical film explores aspects of racial identity. The movie is told from the viewpoint of four Black students who each struggle to discover the essence of being “Black” in a predominantly White Ivy League institution and the purpose of preserving the “Black culture.”

“I am trying to bring a new story to the screen and trying to say something new about the Black experience that I don’t think is really out there,” Simien told CNN’s Carol Costello. “I think it’s important for the culture to bring new stories.”

According to The Huffington Post, Simien culled the storyline from his own college experiences and those of others he knew.


One of the leading characters, Saman tha White, is played by Tessa Thompson. Thompson’s radio show is also dubbed “Dear White People,” and likewise explores the definition of what it means to be Black in America.

The movie was named Project of the Year by Indiewire and received positive reviews from critics including review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which rated the film at 88 percent out of 100. The movie has been acquired by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions.

The movie’s trailer is available at


Maria Adebola

Special to the AFRO