The Nate Parker directed, penned and starring drama will debut on the ViacomCBS-owned streaming service on April 15, I have learned.
This move online for American Skin comes after a lucrative Vertical Entertainment distributed run for the Spike Lee executive produced film on PVOD starting January 15. It also follows a chorus of public support for The Birth of a Nation director Parker’s sophomore feature and its critical focus on the criminal justice system and institutional racism from the likes of LeBron James and Selma star David Oyelowo.
A chorus the Tyler Perry and BET-backed BET+ is clearly adding its voice and platform to.
“While BET+ is a platform for promoting Black stories, it’s also a place for championing Black culture and advocating for our community,” said BET+ EVP and General Manager, Devin Griffin today. “When we first learned of the film’s ambitions, we knew it was something we had to be a part of. We were delighted to board the project early on as a production partner and are even more so now that our BET+ members can watch and experience this timely and poignant film.”
Premiering at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, where it won the Filming Italy Award for Best Film of the Sconfini Section, American Skin tells the tale of Lincoln Jefferson (Parker), an Iraqi War veteran who takes matters into his own hands after his son is shot dead in front of him by a white cop who pulled them over in an upscale white neighborhood. After justice is denied, a documentary crew accompanied Jefferson convenes his own trial – a story that is tragically all the more acute as the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd continues.
“BET+ played a pivotal role in getting American Skin to market and we were thrilled to have a partner who understood the gravity and importance of bringing this story to life,” added Parker. “My ambition with this film was to reflect the Black experience and to create a dialogue that adds context and accountability and allows us to push and change the narrative around race and justice in this country.
Along with the CAA-repped Parker, American Skin stars Power’s Omari Hardwick, Beau Knapp, Luke Cage’s Theo Rossi, Shane Paul McGhie, Milauna Jackson, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and Sierra Capri. The film was independently financed and produced by Mark Burg and Ben Ammar’s Eagle Pictures, which handled world sales. Lukas Behnken also produces with Zak Tanjeloff EPing with Lee. R.D. Delgado co-produces.
Parker, the Nate Parker Foundation, the American Skin filmmakers and BET+ encourage viewers to explore efforts to stop police brutality and encourage equality by going to organizations such as the Electoral Justice Project, Mothers Against Police Brutality and the National Action Network.