Shot in black-and-white 35mm, the trailer opens with Radha, formerly one of Spotlight Magazine‘s “30 under 30 Playwrights to Watch,” teaching a playwrighting class in New York City. “Remember, if you put in nothing, it will be nothing,” she tells her students, to which one retorts, “Like your career?”
As she approaches 40, Radha has several hilarious encounters with white men who question her failed career and inquire what happened to her. She then has an epiphany and decides to become RadhaMUSPrime, a rapper. “What about me doing hip-hop?” she tells her friend Archie (Peter Kim). “Doing what to it?” he asks blankly. “I wanna make a mixtape about the 40-year-old woman’s point of view,” she replies.
The Forty-Year-Old Version marks Blank’s directorial debut; she also wrote the film. It also stars Oswin Benjamin, Imani Lewis, Haskiri Velazquez, Antonio Ortiz, TJ Atoms, Jacob Ming Trent, Stacey Sargeant, William Oliver Watkins, Meghan O’Neill, André Ward, Welker White and Reed Birney.
The film was produced by Lena Waithe, Blank, Jordan Fudge, Inuka Bacote-Capiga, Jennifer Semler and Rishi Rajani. It won the Directing Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.