The heart-wrenching drama Push about a 16-year-old overweight and illiterate pregnant girl based on the bestselling novel by Sapphire won top honors at this year’s Sundance film festival -snagging the grand jury award, audience award, and a special jury prize for comedianne Mo’Nique who plays an abusive mother.
Produced and directed by Lee Daniels, Push stars newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in the lead role and a handful of well-known music and film stars in unexpected roles, including Mariah Carey as a social worker, Lenny Kravitz as a male nurse, and Paula Patton as a teacher.
Lee Daniels was overwhelmed with the film’s performance at the festival and gushed, “We don’t have no money. We got $2 to make some s— happen. We’re doing this story about this fat black girl who doesn’t have a voice. They’re all in it for the craft.”
The film has yet to be picked up for distribution but Daniels is hopeful. “I think [this win] means there’s hope for people of color. Just because Obama’s president doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to translate down to our world of cinema. And I think what it does is reiterate and strengthen this power of, Get yourself a freakin’ video camera. And you go out and tell your truth. That’s what I started doing as a kid, and I think inevitably, it led to this. It’s just so much hope.”
PHOTO CREDIT: AP