EXCLUSIVE: Strike Back Studios has acquired U.S. distribution rights to The United States of Insanity, directed by Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez. The deal for the documentary, about the rap group Insane Clown Posse and its die-hard fans — known as Juggalos — fighting back against the fans being classified as a gang organization by the FBI a decade ago, comes as the feature is readying for its world premiere at Fantastic Fest.
Directed by Directed by Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez (Burn), the film centers on Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, the rappers who make up “the World’s Most Hated Band,” who find themselves as unwitting warriors for the First Amendment. With the help of the ACLU, which filed a federal lawsuit against the FBI, the band fights to uncover the reasons behind the designation and to be removed from the gang list as their fans begin losing their jobs, have their children put into protective custody and face jail time — all because of their musical tastes.
Watch the trailer below.
After the September 28 festival bow, Strike Back will partner with Fathom Events for an October 26 theatrical release that will include previously unseen Insane Clown Posse concert footage.
Producers are Putman and Sanchez’s TBVE Films, with Public House Films in association with Hideout Pictures and Realization Films.
“Our goal is to put the audience through our own paces of discovery during the seven years we filmed with ICP, their fans, their lawyers and the government agencies pursuing them,” Putnam said. “ICP’s extensive archive of music videos, home movies, documentaries and feature films are layered throughout our movie as well, helping us paint a unique story of two high school dropouts achieved their own American dream while bringing people along for the ride.”
Added Noor Ahmed, President of Strike Back Studios: “After forming Strike Back a little over a year ago, we’ve been able to be a part of some amazing documentaries and feature narratives this year but see The United States of Insanity as our signature release of 2021. Having grown up less than an hour south of ICP’s hometown of Detroit in the ’90s, I witnessed firsthand their rise to fame and influence. I’m proud to be a part of the fight against any group’s persecution by law enforcement.”
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.