EXCLUSIVE: Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer, the controversial film that premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, has found theatrical distribution. Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks is partnering with New York-based Variance Films for a theatrical release that will begin August 10th in New York and then broaden to the top 30 markets throughout the month of August.
“From my very first joint back in 1986, She’s Gotta Have It, I have been an independent filmmaker, and even today I still am,” Lee said in a statement. “I’m elated to join forces with Variance Films for the independent distribution of my new joint Red Hook Summer. We look forward to getting this film into the marketplace, where we believe 100 percent that there is a starving audience for American independent films like Red Hook Summer.”
“Variance’s sole mission is to ensure filmmakers retain their rights and their power,” said Variance founder Dylan Marchetti, “and I can’t think of a filmmaker that would make better use of both than Spike Lee. Spike is truly one of the godfathers of independent filmmaking, and Red Hook Summer is an entertaining, yet thoughtful, film that says something we think needs to be said. We couldn’t be more excited to work with Spike and his team to ensure that audiences across the country will be experiencing this fantastic film with their friends and family.”
The latest in Spike Lee’s Chronicles of Brooklyn (which also include She’s Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing, Crooklyn, Clockers and He Got Game), Red Hook Summer focuses on a sullen young boy, Flik Royale. He hails from middle-class Atlanta and heads to Red Hook to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse, in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert the youth into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, the young man’s summer appears to be a total disaster–until he meets a Chazz Morningstar, a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn. Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he’d ever imagined.
The deal was brokered by CAA and Marchetti, with attorney Robert Strent repping 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.