Radha Blank’s award-winning Sundance film, The Forty-Year-Old Version, has received its first trailer. Netflix acquired the film out of Sundance and will be releasing it this fall. Blank directed, wrote and stars in the film, which premiered to critical acclaim at the festival and won the Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic. Lena Waithe executive produces through her Hillman Grad Productions
The official description: Radha, a down-on-her-luck NY playwright, is desperate for a breakthrough before 40. But when she foils what seems like her last shot at success, she’s left with no choice but to reinvent herself as rapper RadhaMUSPrime. The Forty-Year-Old Version follows Radha as she vacillates between the worlds of Hip Hop and theater on a quest to find her true voice. A fresh addition to the New York City slice-of-life canon shot in lush black and white 35mm, Blank’s film is an ode to the unfulfilled, and those whose adversity gives them a one-of-a-kind story to tell.
In a statement earlier this year, Blank said: “It took years of trying to get this film made. It’s my love letter to NY and its struggling artists as well as the NY artistic institutions that raised me – Hip Hop and Theater. I made this film in the spirit of the great NY auteurs who came before me but from an angle not often seen. I’m so very proud of the artisans, many from New York, who helped me craft this movie with such loving and capable hands. As a new member of the Netflix family, I’m excited about the global audience that this film will reach. I hope it will spark the next generation of fearless filmmakers in ANY part of the world. I’m thrilled that this came together with Netflix.”
Our Sundance review of the film reads, “Vulnerable but vibrant in all of it’s black, white and grey-hued glory, The 40-Year-Old Version is an ode to BLACK Harlem, fearlessness and the art of putting yourself on. Instead of a typical mid-life-crisis narrative, it’s a reminder that age doesn’t define you. Dreams and aspirations don’t simply fade away in time. In fact, the longer you’ve been navigating this planet (especially as a Black woman), the more you owe it to yourself to do what sets your soul on fire.”
Peter Y. Kim, Oswin Benjamin, Reed Birney, Imani Lewis and TJ Atoms also star.
Watch the trailer below:
The film debuts October 9 on Netflix.