Magnolia Pictures has acquired US theatrical rights to Tanya Hamilton’s debut feature and Sundance premiere Night Catches Us.

The SimonSays Entertainment and Gigantic Pictures Production stars Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Jamie Hector and Wendell Pierce in the story, set in 1976, about an ex-Black Panther who returns to his Philadelphia home to confront his past.

Magnolia plans an autumn release and the film will continue to play the festival circuit, including the Seattle International Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival.  

Night Catches Us is a smart, powerful drama with a terrific cast that takes a fresh look at an underexplored and exciting chapter in our cultural history,” Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said. “We think it’s going to strongly resonate with audiences.”

Magnolia senior vice-president Tom Quinn brokered the deal with the Film Sales Company’s Andrew Herwitz.