Shout! Studios, the multi-platform entertainment distribution and production arm of Shout! Factory, has acquired worldwide rights to the documentary feature A Crime on the Bayou. A production of Augusta Films in association with Get Lifted Film Co. and Artemis Rising Foundation and written and directed by Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story, The Rape of Recy Taylor), the documentary had its world premiere at the 2020 DOC NYC Film Festival and is the third film in the director’s trilogy profiling brave individuals who fought for justice in and around the Civil Rights era. The announcement was made today by Julie Dansker, Head of New Content Sales at Shout! Studios, Jordan Fields, Vice President of Acquisitions and filmmaker Nancy Buirski.
A Crime on the Bayou is the story of Gary Duncan, a Black teenager from Plaquemines Parish, a swampy strip of land south of New Orleans. In 1966, Duncan tries to break up an argument between white and Black teenagers outside a newly integrated school. He gently lays his hand on a white boy’s arm. The boy recoils like a snake. That night, police burst into Duncan’s trailer and arrest him for assault on a minor. A young Jewish attorney, Richard Sobol, leaves his prestigious D.C. firm to volunteer in New Orleans. With his help, Duncan bravely stands up to a racist legal system powered by a white supremacist boss to challenge his unfair arrest. Their fight goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Duncan and Sobol’s lifelong friendship is forged.
A Crime on the Bayou was executive produced by Mike Jackson, John Legend, Ty Stiklorius and Austyn Biggers of Get Lifted Film Co. Regina K. Scully, Geralyn Dreyfous, Harlene Freezer, Felicia Horowitz, Jules Horowitz, Brenda Robinson, Amy Tiemann, Mark Trustin, and Jamie Wolf also served as executive producers. Nancy Buirski, Susan Margolin, and Claire L. Chandler are the film’s producers, with Vanessa Martino as co-producer. The film was written and directed by Nancy Buirski. Shout! Studios has secured all worldwide rights to A Crime on the Bayou, including theatrical, VOD, digital, broadcast, and home entertainment for cross-platform releases, and plans a strategic rollout of this film across multiple distribution platforms, beginning with a U.S. theatrical launch later this year.
“I am delighted to partner once again with distinguished filmmaker Nancy Buirski on this moving and illuminating doc that shines a light on a groundbreaking piece of recent American history, an exceptional story of friendship and humanity. We’re very proud to be involved in bringing A Crime on the Bayou to audiences” said Julie Dansker, Head of New Content Sales at Shout! Studios.
“Here is a remarkable story – remarkably told by Nancy Buirski – that is revelatory in its history, inspiring in its quest for justice and deeply moving in its depiction of an unlikely and important friendship. It’s an American story that will resonate all over the world.” said Jordan Fields, VP of Acquisitions at Shout! Studios.
“I am thrilled that A Crime on the Bayou has been so fiercely embraced by everyone at Shout! Factory” said filmmaker Nancy Buirski. “They immediately connected to the moving friendship of Gary Duncan and Richard Sobol, the heartbeat of our story. They were equally struck by the timeliness of this story emerging out of Louisiana in the 1960’s. They knew this was not history, but our current reality being reconsidered.”
The deal was negotiated by Shout’s Jordan Fields, VP of Acquisitions, Julie Dansker, Head of New Content Sales, and Steven Katz, Vice President of Business Affairs, and ICM’s Jessica Lacy and Charlotte Lichtman, on behalf of the filmmakers.