Cleveland Films ‘Native Son’ & ‘Them That Follow’ Selected for Sundance

Congratulations to Native Son and Them That Follow
for being selected for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival!

Native Son has been chosen as one of the films which will open the festival. Directed by Rashid Johnson, written by Suzan-Lori Parks, and produced by Matthew Perniciaro and Michael Sherman, Native Son is a modern retelling of Richard Wright’s classic novel. A young African-American man named Bigger Thomas takes a job working for a highly influential Chicago family, a decision that will change the course of his life forever. The cast is comprised of Ashton Sanders, Margaret Qually, Nick Robinson, KiKi Layne, Bill Camp, and Sanaa Lathan.

When it filmed in Cleveland earlier this year, Native Son created over 100 jobs, with about 80 of those going to local crew!  This film also employed over 200 extras, and engaged many local businesses.

Them That Follow will also have its world premiere at Sundance. Directed and written by Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage, and produced by Bradley Gallo, Michael Helfant, Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel, and Danielle Robinson, Them That Follow was filmed in 2017 around the Youngstown and Salem area.  Inside a snake-handling church deep in Appalachia, a forbidden relationship forces a pastor’s daughter to confront her community’s deadly tradition. The cast includes Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, and Thomas Mann.

Them That Follow created jobs for about 40 local crew members during production.  The film also required over 60 local extras and engaged many local businesses in their time here. 

Both films are among the 16 narrative feature films to compete in Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Competition. This year’s U.S. Dramatic Competition boasts a diverse number of voices between the films in this category; 53% of the directors are women, 41% are people of color, and 18% identify as LGBTQIA+. We wish both films the best of luck!