Vertical Buys Clement Virgo’s Acclaimed Drama ‘Brother’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Vertical has nabbed U.S. rights to Clement Virgo’s feature film, “Brother,” following its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.

Virgo wrote the screenplay and adapted the story of two brothers facing questions of masculinity, family, race and identity from David Chariandy’s novel of the same name. The film stars Lamar Johnson (“The Hate U Give,” “The Last of Us”), Aaron Pierre (“The Underground Railroad,” “Foe”), Kiana Madeira (“Fear Street” franchise) and Marsha Stephanie Blake (“When They See Us”).

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The film is slated for a day-and-date release this summer.

Here’s the official description: “Propelled by the pulsing beats of Toronto’s early hip-hop scene, ‘Brother’ is the story of Francis (Pierre) and Michael (Johnson), sons of Caribbean immigrants maturing into young men. A mystery unfolds during the sweltering summer of 1991, and escalating tensions set off a series of events that change the course of the brothers’ lives forever. ‘Brother’ crafts a timely story about the profound bond between siblings, the resilience of community and the irrepressible power of music.”

The movie was a critical favorite when it debuted in TIFF. The Playlist gave it an A and wrote, “There are unforgettable moments when you just want to embrace everyone on screen, if only so you’ll know everything will be alright. By the time of film concludes — ripping your heart out with a gorgeous montage that caresses the bodies and aspirations of these Black folks with graceful eyes, set to the hypnotic notes of Nina Simone’s ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ — Virgo’s ‘Brother’ leaves you spellbound and grateful.”

Virgo’s credits include “Poor Boy’s Game” and “Lie With Me,” as well as episodes of “Billions” and “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”

Vertical Partner Peter Jarowey commented on the acquisition, saying, “Clement has created one of the very best coming of age films in recent memory masterfully capturing two brothers’ complicated journey over the course of three time periods. The film is textured and seamless, with powerful performances from the actors that produce a provocative portrait of love, loss, regret and grief that is mesmerizing.”

The filmmakers added: “We’re excited to work with Vertical on the U.S. release of ‘Brother.’ They have a proven track record of connecting innovative films with audiences who crave original, thought-provoking stories. We can’t wait to share ‘Brother’ with the U.S. this summer through Vertical’s expert curation and marketing.”

The film is produced by Damon D’Oliveira, Sonya Di Rienzo, Clement Virgo, and Aeschylus Poulos. Executive Producers include Aaron L. Gilbert, Laurie May, Noah Segal and Steven Thibault.

Clement Virgo is repped by WME, Fourth Wall and Paul Hastings; Pierre is repped by WME, Anonymous Content, Hamilton Hodell, Sloane Offer Weber & Dern and Narrative; Johnson is repped by WME, Entertainment 360, Jackoway Austen Tyerman and The Initiative Group; Marsha Stephanie Blake is repped by Anonymous Content, Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher and Narrative; and Kiana Madeira is repped by Verve, Ambition Talent and The Forward Group.

Senior vice president of acquisitions Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal on behalf of Vertical; WME Independent and Linda Jin of BRON negotiated the deal on behalf of the production.

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