A24 and Participant have set an adaptation of BLKNEWS, from video artist and filmmaker Kahlil Joseph, Shadow and Act has confirmed.
The film, BLKNWS® - The Feature Film (wt) will serve as Joseph's directorial debut and will be based on his groundbreaking video exhibition of the same name.
The original exhibition was a part of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival's New Frontier programming after screening at the Venice Art Biennale in 2019. It featured Helen Molesworth, Alzo Slade, Amandla Stenberg and Trifari Williams.
The Sundance description of the original project said that it "combines appropriated news and social media with originally produced anchored segments to create a continuously updated broadcast that is as much a news service as it is a portal to an elevated state of awareness. A 'fugitive newscast' that rejuvenates what news can be, BLKNWS aims to become a bona fide news network that can only be accessed at specific terrestrial sites."
Participant will lead production on the project, which it is financing with A24. Jeff Skoll and Anikah McLaren are executive producing with Joseph, Onye Anyanwu, Amy Greenleaf and Nicolas Gonda producing. Bradford Young is the director of photography.
Though this is Joseph's feature film directorial debut, he has directed music videos for Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar and more. He also directed a lot of Beyoncé's Lemonade visual album.
This deal was negotiated by Jeannine Tang, General Counsel, Stacey Fong, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, and Stefanie Holmes, Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs on behalf of Participant, CAA Media Finance, which arranged the film’s financing, and Richard Thompson at Brecheen Feldman Breimer Silver & Thompson on behalf of the filmmaking team alongside A24.
Joseph is represented by CAA.