LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, ARRAY Releasing announces the acquisition of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Founders Award Winner for Best Narrative Feature and 2019 Venice Film Festival Official Selection BURNING CANE. Written, directed, photographed, and co-edited by Phillip Youmans, the intimate drama captures the complexity and complacency of family life and religion in rural Louisiana.
ARRAY has acquired worldwide rights and will release the film this fall. The announcement was made by ARRAY founder Ava DuVernay.
New Orleans native Youmans was only seventeen years old when he made the film. Currently an NYU film student, he is the youngest director ever to have a film in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival and the first African American director to win the festival’s Founders Award. In addition, BURNING CANE won Best Actor for Wendell Pierce and Best Cinematography for Youmans. The film is an official selection of the 2019 Venice Film Festival.
“Through his exceptional film, Phillip Youmans has cemented himself as one to watch, one to cheer for, one to be proud of. He takes the complicated relationship between faith and addiction and delivers a nuanced glimpse with truly unforgettable characters,” said ARRAY President Tilane Jones. “Everyone at ARRAY fell in love with this beautiful film and this dynamic filmmaker. We’re delighted to share Phillip’s talent while showcasing BURNING CANE as our 24th acquisition.”
The deal was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano on behalf of ARRAY and Jason Ishikawa of Cinetic Media who handled negotiations for Youmans.
BURNING CANE marks the third acquisition of 2019 for ARRAY, which previously released critically acclaimed Ghanaian gem THE BURIAL OF KOJO by Samuel Bazawule and Official Sundance Selection MERATA by documentarian Hepi Mita earlier this year.
Founded in 2010 by Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a film collective dedicated to the amplification of images by people of color and women directors. Now in its ninth year, ARRAY Releasing focuses on grassroots distribution of feature narrative and documentary work by varied voices.