Release Date: 13/10/2016
Inspired by accounts of the first couple’s first date, Richard Tanne’s romantic and intimate directorial debut Southside With You brings audiences along for the ride as charming first-year law associate Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) takes reluctant attorney Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) on a daylong excursion in and around Chicago’s South Side.
It takes some coaxing for Barack to persuade Michelle, his advisor at the firm, to join him in a whirlwind of activities on a hot summer day in Chicago, 1989. Michelle, a career-oriented, Ivy League-educated attorney and the only black woman at her firm, has her guard up against even a whiff of perceived impropriety. The last thing she wants is for her superiors to judge the firm’s two African-American colleagues for unprofessional behavior.
Barack agrees in theory, but his profound attraction to Michelle trumps caution. And he’s self-confident enough to believe he can remain professional and capture her heart at the same time. His all-out attempt to win her affection includes a visit to an art exhibit, a rousing community meeting he leads at a South Side church, and a screening of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. Although the pair have no inkling they will someday make history together, the fact that the date marks the first spark of romance between the future first couple makes this sweet and inspiring love story all the more poignant.
Southside with You stars Tika Sumpter (Get On Up, “Bessie”), Parker Sawyers (Zero Dark Thirty, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) and Vanessa Bell Calloway (Coming To America, What’s Love Got to Do With It). The film is written and directed by Richard Tanne (You Never Left, “Cinema Cool”). Producers are Robert Teitel (Soul Food, Barbershop), Tika Sumpter and Richard Tanne. Executive producers are Stuart Ford, Glendon Palmer, Matt Jackson, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Carrie Holt De Lama, Tracey Bing, Zanne Devine and Rosanne Korenberg. Patrick Scola (A Beautiful Now, Here Build Your Homes) is director of photography. Production designer is Lucio Seixas (Never Forever, The Sleepwalker). Film editor is Evan Schiff (Everly, The Time Being). Costume designer is Megan Spatz (Unexpected, American Fable). Music is by Stephen James Taylor (Maya Angelou and Still I Rise, Phantom Punch). Tracy “Twinkie” Bird (Fruitvale Station, Jumping the Broom) is casting director.
Directed By: Richard Tanne
Cast: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Phillip Edward Van Lear, Taylar Fondren