EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has the first trailer for The Courtroom, a new drama written by Succession breakout Arian Moayed, which will make its world premiere at the Metrograph in New York City, as an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival, on June 16.
Originally presented as a critically-acclaimed off-Broadway play, The Courtroom is adapted verbatim from real court transcripts. It tells the story of Elizabeth Keathley (Kristin Villanueva), a Filipina immigrant who faces deportation and permanent separation from her American husband and newborn child after mistakenly registering to vote while on a K3 visa. Keathley’s court case proved groundbreaking, helping to change voter registration laws in seven states. The film is a reminder of how black and white the law can be, but how so much is still left open to interpretation, and the power of words and how the law is written.
The Courtroom marks the feature directorial debut of Obie Award winner Lee Sunday Evans (Dance Nation). Its cast also includes Marsha Stephanie Blake, Michael Braun, Michael Chernus, Kathleen Chalfant, Hanna Cheek, Michael B. French, Mick Hilgers, Linda Powell and BD Wong. Damon Owlia produced alongside Jonathan Olson for Topic, with Moayed, Evans, Anne Carey, Ryan Chanatry and Gena Konstantinakos exec producing. Pic marks the second collaboration between Moayed, Owlia and Topic—their first being the Emmy-nominated short-form series, The Accidental Wolf. UTA is handling sales.
“As an immigrant who experienced firsthand the struggles of surviving in a new country, the truth about what that journey is like is usually stranger and more compelling than fiction,” said Moayed, who plays Succession‘s Stewy Hosseini. “Making this film that tells the story of immigrant Elizabeth Keathley and her lawyer Richard Hanus, is a way that I wanted to bring people closer to the challenges of navigating the bureaucracy of the United States immigration system.
“Through Lee Sunday Evans’ bold idea about how to create the visual language for the movie, the audience is given a very rare opportunity to understand the experience of an immigrant moving through the labyrinthine immigration system,” the film’s writer added. “As artists, our goal is to reveal something much larger about the dynamics around immigration by focusing on this one, very personal, intimate story. The transcripts of The Courtroom have put us all on trial.”
Watch the trailer for The Courtroom above.