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A still from STEP by Amanda Lipitz, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. © 2016 Sundance Institute.

Fox Searchlight has acquired the documentary Step, the directorial debut of  Tony Award–winning producer Amanda Lipitz, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Step follows three high school seniors in inner-city Baltimore and their step dance team, “Lethal Ladies.” Members of the founding class of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, the dancers are determined to live up to their school’s founding mandate of sending every graduate to college.

Fox Searchlight also bought the remake rights to the movie.

The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women opened in 2009 with a mandate to send every student to college, despite the barriers that their home lives and community might present. Now, as the first class enters its senior year, the stakes are high to achieve that purpose. The film follows three irrepressible seniors and their “Lethal Ladies” step dance team as they navigate a nerve-wracking college application process and strive to elevate the creative outlet that keeps them united and fighting to reach their goals.

STEP hones in on the trials and triumphs of these tenacious young women, as well as their relationships with the women who champion and challenge them: their mothers, an unstoppable college counselor, and a no-nonsense step coach. These mentors are never far, doing all that they can to enable achievement, often with the odds stacked against them. This founding class is wrestling with life at the brink of their independence, always to a contagious beat that is haunting and universal.

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