Magnolia Pictures will screen Raoul Peck’s James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro for a one-week special run beginning December 9 in New York and Los Angeles, followed by a nationwide theatrical release on February 3 in 25 markets. The rollout for the pic, which was just nominated for an Indie Spirit Award this morning, is part of an aggressive awards-season push for the documentary based on Baldwin’s famed unfinished book Remember This House. Magnolia acquired the movie out of Toronto, and it is on the Oscar Best Documentary Feature long list.
Amazon Studios has also acquired exclusive streaming rights to the docu, which is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Independent Lens co-funded the film and it will broadcast on PBS in late 2017.
Magnolia is partnering with Maysles Cinema and Metrograph in New York, and Cinemark Baldwin Hills in Los Angeles for the December advance preview. The venues will host a series of discussions around screenings of the film, with panels featuring artists, academics, politicians, activists and organizers joining Peck to discuss ideas and the ways Baldwin’s life and work can be applied to social justice efforts.
“I Am Not Your Negro is a singular, essential film that has received rapturous responses at every one of our screenings this fall,” said Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles. “Given the current social climate, we are planning one of our most aggressive theatrical releases ever for a documentary.”
Remember This House was Baldwin’s attempt to recount the lives and assassinations of friends Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. He died in 1987, and his notes and unfinished manuscript were eventually entrusted to Peck by the Baldwin estate.
Magnolia has another docu in on the Academy long list: Alex Gibney’s Zero Days which bowed in July.