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Sundance: Dance Documentary ‘Step’ Bought by Fox Searchlight

Variety logo Variety 1/25/2017 Dave McNary
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Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution and remake rights to Amanda Lipitz’s documentary “Step” following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

The movie, featuring Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger, Tayla Solomon, Gari McIntyre, and Paula Dofat, documents the senior year of a girls’ high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore. Each student is trying to become the first in their families to attend college and striving to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest in the troubled city.

“Step” will be released later this year. The film is a Stick Figure, Impact Partners, Vulcan, and Scott Rudin production, and produced by Lipitz, who also directed, and Steven Cantor. Exec producers are Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, Jenny Raskin, Rudin, Paul G. Allen, Carole Tomko, Micheal Flaherty, Valerie McGowan, Barbara Dobkin, Regina K. Scully, Debra McLeod, Jay Sears, Ann Tisch, and Andrew Tisch.

Variety‘s Geoff Berkshire gave the film a strong review: “Documentaries aren’t often discussed in terms of their ability to entertain, but ‘Step’ might be the most infectiously entertaining doc since Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair.'”

“This film was made as a tribute to the bravery and conviction of the young women in the film and to the courage they demonstrated in their willingness to share their story,” Lipitz said. “We are thrilled to partner with Fox Searchlight on the release of the film throughout the world and are very grateful for their enthusiasm and passion. We hope that the heroes of STEP will inspire girls everywhere to do what they have done, which is to prove that nothing is impossible when you surround yourself with a group of powerful women.”

The production also received support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Baltimore Ravens football team. The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Megan O’Brien and Ray Strache, with WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers.

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