The first footage from Janicza Bravo’s “Zola” has debuted online courtesy of A24, which world premiered the comedy-drama to strong buzz at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Co-written by Bravo and “Slave Play” playwright Jeremy O’Harris, “Zola” is based on a viral Twitter thread posted in October 2015 by Detroit-based stripper A’ziah “Zola” King. The Twitter thread inspired the article “Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted,” written by journalist David Kushner. The film stars rising actress Taylour Paige in the lead role opposite Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun, Ari’el Stachel, and Colman Domingo.
The official “Zola” synopsis out of Sundance reads: “Zola (Taylour Paige) meets Stefani (Riley Keough) at a restaurant where Zola waitresses, and the two immediately click over pole dancing. Only a day after they exchange numbers, Stefani invites Zola on a cross-country road trip, where the goal is to make as much money as possible dancing in Florida strip clubs. Zola agrees, and suddenly she is trapped in the craziest, most unexpected trip of her life.”
The first footage of the film below shows off Paige and Keough’s characters as they put on makeup and look at themselves in the mirror. IndieWire’s chief critic Eric Kohn gave “Zola” a B+ review out of Sundance, calling it “a wild road trip comedy” and “a rambunctious crowdpleaser.” The original score for the film was composed by “Under the Skin” and “Jackie” Oscar nominee Mica Levi.
While A24 has debuted the first footage from “Zola,” the indie studio has yet to reveal when viewers will be able to watch the film. The first look teaser ends with a tag saying the film will be “coming soon.” While studios such as Neon and IFC Films have continued to release projects throughout the pandemic in drive-in theaters and on VOD platforms, A24 has been saving new titles such as “The Green Knight,” “Saint Maud,” and “Minari” for yet-to-be-announced released dates.
Watch the first footage from “Zola” in the teaser below.
— A24 (@A24) August 6, 2020