Hulu has acquired the rights to Minding the Gap, Bing Liu’s Sundance Festival documentary about three young men who bond across racial lines to escape their volatile, Rust Belt family lives.

The film will be released as a Hulu Documentary both theatrically across key markets in the US and on Hulu on August 17.

Bing Liu’s feature debut, shot in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois, chronicles the lives and friendships of his skateboarding friends over the course of 12 years. As Hulu describes, the director “searches for correlations between his skateboarder friends’ turbulent upbringings and the complexities of modern-day masculinity.”

Among the film’s subjects is 23-year-old Zack, whose tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend deteriorates after the birth of their son, and 17-year-old Keire, struggling with his racial identity as he faces new responsibilities following the death of his father. “While navigating a difficult relationship between his camera, his friends, and his own past, Bing ultimately weaves a story of generational forgiveness while exploring the precarious gap between childhood and adulthood,” Hulu says.

“When I first started developing Minding the Gap,” said Bing Liu, “I knew I wanted it to be accessible to young audiences, so I’m enthused with the reach the film will have as a Hulu Original. The film has elicited strong emotional responses with festival viewers around the world, so I’m happy with Hulu’s plans for a theatrical release and an outreach campaign to engage audiences in discussing the issues the film explores. I’m infinitely grateful for the friends and collaborators who’ve made the film possible, especially the brave participants of the film.”

Minding the Gap had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking. Since Sundance it has received over twenty-five awards and distinctions at festivals, including nine Jury Awards for Best Documentary and five Audience Awards.

The film is produced by Liu and Diane Quon through Kartemquin Films. Liu and Joshua Altman edited. Executive producers are Steve James, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg, Sally Jo Fifer, Justine Nagan, and Chris White. Minding the Gap is a co-production of Kartemquin Films, American Documentary |POV, and Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.

Bing Liu is repped by CAA; the acquisition deal was handled by CAA’s Media Finance group.

Magnolia Pictures will handle the theatrical distribution.