Aunjanue Ellis (The Help, Birth of a Nation) joins Keke Palmer (Akeelah and The Bee) and Edi Gathegi in the independent feature Pimp written and directed by Christine Crokos.  The film looks at the lives of two women on the streets of New York who deal with the hustle and dangers of those working in the illegal sex trade.  Ellis will be playing “Gloria Ray,” mother to one of the young girls in the story.  Vanessa Morgan (Finding Carter), DMX, and Haley Ramm (The Originals) are also set to star in the film.

Pimp revolves around the character Wednesday (Palmer), who is in a relationship with a woman (Ramm) that she has grown up with, and decides to be a pimp.  She soon realizes that in order for her and her girlfriend to obtain a better life, she has to make far more money than she is currently making.  With this in mind, Wednesday decides to steal a beautiful woman from a well-known pimp in the neighborhood, and winds up making more money than she anticipated.  She gets caught up in the “pimp life,” and decides to pimp her own girlfriend; however, problems arise when her girlfriend fails to make as much money as the other woman.

“This movie is quite unique.  The writer/director is a woman. All the lead characters are women and at its core it is a love story, but it takes place in a harsh world where women have to hustle to survive. We have never seen a woman pimp before with a girlfriend.” – Alexis Varouxakis, Producer, 1821 Pictures

In addition to Varouxakis, Adrenaline Entertainment is producing the film, along with Victoria Bousis, with Charlie Dibe co-producing. Corey Large, Nick Garyfalmmos, Bader Alghanim, Gina Saracino and Gary Ousdahl are executive producing.

Ellis has starred in countless classic films such as Men of Honor, The Caveman’s Valentine, Undercover Brother, The Help, and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.  Last year, she starred in the miniseries The Book of Negros, and received critical acclaim and a Critic’s Choice Award nomination for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries.  Most recently she has a leading role in the ABC thriller series Quantico, and can be seen next in Nate Parker’s critically claimed period drama, The Birth of a Nation.