Berlin, GERMANY (February 14, 2011) – Sundance Selects announced today from the 2011 Berlin Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to writer/director Goran Hugo Olsson’s THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975. The documentary, produced by Annika Rogell of Story AB, made its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and screened this week in the Panorama section at the Berlin Film Festival. The film was co-produced Joslyn Barnes and Danny Glover of Louverture Films, and Sveriges Television.
From 1967 to 1975, fueled by curiosity and naivete, Swedish journalists traversed the Atlantic Ocean to film the black power movement in America. THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975 mobilizes a treasure trove of 16mm material, which languished in a basement for 30 years, into an irresistible mosaic of images, music, and narration to chronicle the movement’s evolution. Mesmerizing footage of Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis, and Eldridge Cleaver, as well as Black Panther activities, are peppered with B-roll footage of black America. These scenes take on a fresh, global angle through the outsider perspective of the Swedish lens. Meanwhile, penetrating commentaries from artists and activists influenced by the struggle-like Harry Belafonte, Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, and Professor Robin D. G. Kelley-riff on the range of radical ideas and strategies for liberation. Their insights and the vibrancy of the unearthed footage render the black power movement startlingly immediate and profoundly relevant.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: "This is a remarkable film by Swedish director Goran Hugo Olsson with footage from true outsiders filming outsiders as they fight to make their way into the system. It is riveting and emotional to go back in time to see a major part of our recent history. This is an essential film that we look forward to bringing to a large audience."
"When I started this project, the goal was to reach out and make these remarkable images available to the audience forever! I could think of no better partner to do this with than Sundance Selects. Being from remote Sweden we were lucky to get to work with the very best film team in the U.S. – Joslyn Barnes and Danny Glover at Louverturefilms, and Corey Smyth at Blacksmith Corp. And now Sundance Selects. I’m just happy. We have important subject matter that comes with a responsibility to handle it with love and respect, and that is what happening now," said Olsson.
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Debra Fisher at Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.
Sundance Selects is a sister division to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by Rainbow Media.
About SUNDANCE SELECTS:
Established in 2009 and based in New York City, Sundance Selects is a leading U.S. distributor of prestige films that focuses on American independents, documentaries and world cinema. Its unique distribution model makes independent prestige films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes. Some of the company’s successes have included Spike Lee’s Passing Strange: The Movie and Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross’ The Shock Doctrine, a feature documentary based on Naomi Klein’s bestselling book of the same name. Upcoming Sundance Selects releases include Errol Morris’ highly acclaimed documentary Tabloid, Warner Herzog’s 3D documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, famed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy starring Juliette Binoche and the 2011 Sundance crowdpleaser BUCK, directed by Cindy Meehl. Sundance Selects is a sister division to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by Rainbow Media.