HomePakistani AmericanSony Pictures Acquires Rights to Minhal Baig's 'We Grown Now'

Sony Pictures Acquires Rights to Minhal Baig’s ‘We Grown Now’

Sony Pictures Classics has obtained the North American rights to “We Grown Now,” a film by Pakistani American filmmaker Minhal Baig, which premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in the Centerpiece and Next Wave Selects section, American Kahani reports.

Set in Baig’s hometown of Chicago, “We Grown Now” follows the story of best friends Malik and Eric in 1992, who are growing up during Michael Jordan’s meteoric rise with the Chicago Bulls.

The film delves into the challenges they face while trying to escape the monotony of school and the difficulties of growing up in public housing. Their unbreakable bond is put to the test when tragedy strikes their community just as they are finding their wings. The cast includes Blake Cameron James, Gian Knight Ramirez, S. Epatha Merkerson, Avery Holliday, and Ora Jones, along with Lil Rel Howery and Jurnee Smollett.

Baig, who wrote, directed, and produced the film, was honored with the TIFF Changemaker Award, recognizing its exploration of issues pertinent to young people and themes of social change and youth empowerment.

The Sony deal means more people will have the opportunity to watch the film.

“I could not be more delighted to have found a home for We Grown Now with Sony Pictures Classics. We Grown Now is a film that captures the tender moments of childhood resilience and the power of human connection in the face of adversity,” Baig said in a statement to Deadline. “Sony Pictures Classics and Participant recognize the significance of our story’s themes of community and the importance of bringing such a film to theaters. We are beyond grateful that they have recognized this film as part of their incredible canon.”

According to American Kahani, Baig is known for her previous feature, “Hala,” which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. She was also a story editor on “Bojack Horseman” and a staff writer on the Peabody-award-winning series “Ramy.”

The young filmmaker also held a writing-producing deal with Amazon, received recognition as a 2022 Sundance Momentum Fellow, and participated in the 2022 WGA Showrunner Training Program.

Baig is also committed to supporting other aspiring filmmakers. She helped co-found ISF’s Muslim Screenwriter’s Lab and serves as a mentor for the 1497 Writers Lab, a Hollywood workshop dedicated to supporting South Asian screenwriters and reducing their underrepresentation in the U.S. film and TV industry.

We Grown Now will officially premiere in the U.S. this week. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the film will be screened as the opening film at the 59th Chicago International Film Festival on Wednesday.

Sony has not said when it hopes to do a wide-release of We Grown Now in North American theaters.

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