WATCH: Get Schooled By Dear White People Trailer

The politically charged film, which centers on a gay black college student, is scheduled for release October 17.

BY Daniel Reynolds

July 24 2014 11:40 AM ET

Dear White People, the Sundance Film Festival darling about race at an elite college, has released its first official trailer.

Directed and written by gay filmmaker Justin Simien, the film follows a group of African American students, among them a gay student struggling with his identity played by Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris), as they navigate social life at a predominantly white institution of higher learning.

This politically charged satire gives a much-needed microphone to the varying voices within black culture, which often clash on issues ranging from the controversial leadership election of a historically black dorm, to an ill-advised Halloween party, themed "Unleash your inner Negro."

Dear White People has already caught the eye of major critics, including A.O. Scott of the New York Times, who wrote, “Seeming to draw equal measures of inspiration from Whit Stillman and Spike Lee, but with his own tart, elegant sensibility very much in control, Mr. Simien evokes familiar campus stereotypes only to smash them and rearrange the pieces. ... Needless to say, the film’s political implications ripple far beyond the redbrick hothouse of higher learning where it takes place. ”

The film, which is scheduled to be released October 17, also features the acting talents of Tessa Thompson (For Colored Girls), Courtney Sauls (Twenties), Teyonah Parris (Mad Men), Brandon P. Bell (Hollywood Heights), Kyle Gallner (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Malcolm Barrett (The Hurt Locker), Marque Richardson (The Newsroom), Brittany Curran (Chicago Fire), and Dennis Haysbert (24).

The recipient of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent, the film was produced by Stephanie Allain, Effie Brown, Mel Jones, Ann Le, Julia Levedev, Leonid Levedev, Angel Lopez, Justin Simien, as well as Lena Waithe (Bones, Bros Before Hos), another rising LGBT star in the world of film and television.

Watch the trailer below.

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