Once floated as a potential James Franco project, Zola has ended up in the much more suited hands of Lemon director Janicza Bravo, who has brought the crazy true story to life with what looks like both flair and heart. Find the first trailer for the film below.

Zola‘s story all springs from a Rolling Stone article (one you can read here) that chronicled stripper Aziah “Zola” King’s epic, tragic and weird road trip to Florida. Her tale was originally chronicled via her Twitter account, with 148 tweets spilling a story of meeting a woman named Jessica while working at Hooters in Detroit and heading to Florida with her, Jessica’s boyfriend and Jessica’s pimp, named only as “Z”. Their trip devolves into a terrifying tale of prostitution, violence and crazed behaviour.

Taylour Paige plays Zola, a Detroit waitress who strikes up a new friendship with a customer, Stefani (Riley Keough). The latter seduces her to join a weekend partying in Florida. What at first seems like a glamorous trip full of “hoeism” rapidly transforms into a 48-hour journey involving a nameless pimp, an idiot boyfriend, some shady guys in Tampa, and other unexpected adventures in this wild, see-it-to-believe-it tale.

Zola poster

Colman Domingo, Jason Mitchell, Nelcie Souffrant and Nicholas Braun all feature here, and Zola will be the closing night gala film at this year’s Sundance London festival on 1 August ahead of its 6 August release.

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