‘Dear White People’ is a comedy first, but the Sundance debutant is packed modern observations and contemporary experiences of racism tension. This isn’t a hard hitting drama about the civil rights movement or America’s deep south during slavery. The characters are Ivy League, educated and bored of accepted racism.

Dear White PeopleThe 'Dear White People' cast

Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris), Tessa Thompson (For Colored Girls), Teyonah Parris (Mad Men) and Brandon Bell (Hollywood Heights) are four college students at a fictional campus. And while the school may be made up, the attitudes of its white population aren’t: a riot breaks out over a popular “African American” themed party thrown by white students. These things actually happen. 

The film invites people to check their privileges as it details some of director Justin Simien's real experiences while at college. And while the themes of racism are more subtle than the ones usually covered in cinema, they’re no less real.

Simien is being praised for raising the questions he has with ‘Dear White People’ – the young director is accustomed with modern distribution methods, too as he prepares to release his film on VOD as well as the traditional route of theatres. 

“We're realistic. This is something people are going to like," Effie T. Brown, writer of the movie, told Indiewire, "but it will need a platform release plan. It's a very communal experience, so we'll create events. The cast can act as ambassadors at college campuses, and go to your community and share. Without the fans, who we're sharing this with, we'd be nowhere. The community we were able to build, that's our ticket. People who feel 'oh snap, we got to see this movie,' that's it."

Dear White People opens in theatres October 17, 2014

Watch the trailer for 'Dear White People'