Lionsgate(R) Pulls in Lee Daniels' Sundance Film Festival Triple Award Winner PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE



    OPRAH WINFREY AND TYLER PERRY ALIGN WITH LIONSGATE(R) IN AN UNPRECEDENTED
PARTNERSHIP
    

    
    Studio Acquires North American Distribution Rights From Smokewood
Entertainment Group And Reunites With Academy Award(R) Winning Monster's Ball
Producer Daniels
    

    
    SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- LIONSGATE(R)
(NYSE:   LGF), a leading next generation studio, announced today that it has
acquired North American distribution rights to 2009 Sundance Film Festival
sensation PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE.  Directed by Lee Daniels
(SHADOWBOXER), PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE won both the Grand Jury
Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, only the third film
in Festival history to do so.  Star Mo'Nique was honored with a Special Jury
Prize for acting.  PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE was produced by
Daniels, and Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness under their Smokewood
Entertainment Group (S.E.G.) banner; Lisa Cortes and Tom Heller were executive
producers.  The screenplay was written by Damien Paul, based on Sapphire's
1996 book.  PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE stars newcomer Gabourey
"Gabby" Sidibe, Paula Patton (DEJA VU), Mo'Nique (SHADOWBOXER), Grammy(R)
Award-winning artist Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd ("30 Rock") and Grammy(R)
Award-winning artist Lenny Kravitz.  The deal marks the second collaboration
between Lionsgate and Daniels, who produced the studio's Academy
Award(R)-winning MONSTER'S BALL.  The announcement was made by Jason
Constantine, Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions.
    

    
    In an unprecedented partnership, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry will
support Lionsgate's distribution of PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE,
through their respective motion picture companies, Harpo Films and 34th Street
Films.  It will be the first film affiliated with Perry's 34th Street banner.
    

    
    "PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE is an extraordinary film about
taking hold of life; to watch it is to be galvanized and uplifted," said
Constantine.  "MONSTER'S BALL introduced Lee as a gifted producer; we believe
PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE firmly establishes him as one of
America's finest directors."
    

    
    Said Daniels, "I know from my MONSTER'S BALL experience that PUSH: BASED
ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE has found the best home possible.  I'm really looking
forward to working again with smart, innovative friends at Lionsgate."
    

    
    Commented Winfrey, "I've never seen anything like it.  The moment I saw
PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE, I knew I wanted to do whatever I could
to encourage other people to see this movie. The film is so raw and powerful -
it split me open."
    

    
    Added Perry, "I am honored to join Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate in
releasing Lee Daniels' exceptional film.  I was immensely moved by PUSH: BASED
ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE, and wanted to do whatever I could to help others
share in its redemptive experience.  Lionsgate is the ideal studio to shepherd
this artistically courageous film to market."
    

    
    "We like to work with filmmakers who harness instinct and vision to
compelling projects, creating motion pictures that resonate emotionally with
an audience.  That is why we chose PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE," said
Sarah Siegel-Magness, managing partner of S.E.G.
    

    
    PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE is the second film directed by
Daniels, following 2006's SHADOWBOXER.  Daniels made motion picture history
with his first film as a producer, MONSTER'S BALL, becoming the first
African-American sole producer of an Academy Award-winning, substantial
critical and box office success.  The film garnered Halle Berry the 2002
Academy Award(R) for Best Actress and also received a nomination for Best
Original Screenplay.  Daniels subsequently produced the award-winning drama
THE WOODSMAN and the recent TENNESSEE, which was funded by S.E.G. in its first
collaboration with Lee Daniels Entertainment.  S.E.G. fully financed PUSH:
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE.
    

    
    The deal was negotiated by Eda Kowan, Senior Vice President of
Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Wendy Jaffe, Executive Vice President
Business & Legal Affairs, Acquisitions and Co-Productions, and Constantine on
behalf of Lionsgate; Cinetic sold the film and negotiated the deal on behalf
of S.E.G. and Lee Daniels in close collaboration with attorneys Roger Arar and
Craig Emanuel at Loeb & Loeb, Sloss Eckhouse Brennan, and Jonathan Gray of
Gray Krauss.
    

    FILM SYNOPSIS (Courtesy Of Sundance Institute)
    
    With sheer audacity and utter authenticity, director Lee Daniels tackles
PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE and creates an unforgettable film that
sets a new standard for cinema of its kind. Precious Jones (Gabourey "Gabby"
Sidibe) is a high-school girl with nothing working in her favor.  She is
pregnant with her father's child - for the second time.  She can't read or
write, and her schoolmates tease her for being fat. Her home life is a horror,
ruled by a mother (Mo'Nique) who keeps her imprisoned both emotionally and
physically.  Precious's instincts tell her one thing: if she's ever going to
break from the chains of ignorance, she will have to dig deeply into her own
resources.  Don't be misled - PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE is not a
film wallowing in the stillness of depression; instead, it vibrates with the
kind of energy derived only from anger and hope. The entire cast are amazing;
they carry out a firestorm of raw emotion.  Daniels has drawn from them
inimitable performances that will rivet you to your seat and leave you too
shocked to breathe.  If you passed Precious on the street, you probably
wouldn't notice her. But when her story is revealed, as Daniels does in this
courageous film, you are left with an indelible image of a young woman who -
with creativity, humor, and ferocity - finds the strength to turn her life
around.
    

    ABOUT LIONSGATE
    
    Lionsgate is the leading next generation studio with a major presence in
the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming,
home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally
delivered content. The Company is leveraging its content leadership and
marketing expertise through a series of partnerships that include the
operation of the FEARNet branded VOD and Internet horror channel with Sony and
Comcast, the expected fall 2009 launch of a epix, the new premium
entertainment channel with partners Viacom, Paramount Pictures and MGM,
investment in the leading young men's digital distribution platform Break.com,
ownership of the premier independent television syndication company
Debmar-Mercury and an alliance with independent filmed entertainment
production and distribution company Roadside Attractions. Lionsgate also has
forged partnerships with leading content creators, owners and distributors in
key territories around the world, including Televisa in the U.S. and Latin
America, StudioCanal in the UK, Hoyts and Sony in Australia and Eros
International in India.
    

    
    On January 5, 2009, Lionsgate announced its plan to acquire the TV Guide
Network and TVGuide.com. The deal is expected to close on February 28, 2009.
    

    
    The Company has generated more than $450 million at the North American
theatrical box office in the past 12 months and has forged leadership
positions in television and home entertainment with the production of such
critically-acclaimed television series as "Weeds" and "Mad Men," the
distribution of "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," "Family Feud," "South Park,"
"Trivial Pursuit" and "The Dead Zone," and nearly 7% market share and the
industry's leading box office-to-DVD conversion rate in home entertainment.
Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12,000
motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring
revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core
businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with entrepreneurial innovation
and original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.
    

    

    
                                 www.lionsgate.com
    

    
    For further information, contact:
    

    
    Sarah Greenberg
    310-255-3856
    sgreenberg@lionsgate.com
    

    
    For corporate inquiries, please contact:
    

    
    Peter D. Wilkes
    pwilkes@lionsgate.com
    310-255-3726




    




For further information:

For further information: Sarah Greenberg, +1-310-255-3856,
sgreenberg@lionsgate.com, or Peter D. Wilkes, +1-310-255-3726,
pwilkes@lionsgate.com, both of Lionsgate Web Site: http://www.lionsgate.com


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