Ava DuVernay’s Array Acquires Slamdance Winner ‘Residue’

Merawi Gerima wrote and made his directorial debut on the indie feature that will debut on Netflix in September

Array, Ava DuVernay’s film company, has acquired the rights to release “Residue,” a poetic drama from Merawi Gerima that won a pair of awards after its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival earlier this year. DuVernay announced the news on Tuesday.

Gerima wrote “Residue” and made his directorial debut on the film, as well as produced and edited the indie feature, and it was just on Tuesday selected as part of the 77th Venice International Film Festival’s Giornate degli Autori section. It previously won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature and the Acting Award for its star Obinna Nwachukwu, along with receiving the honorable mention for Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize, at Slamdance.

“Residue” will debut on Netflix on Sept. 17 and will also play in select cities theatrically throughout the month.

“Residue” chronicles aspiring filmmaker Jay (Nwachukwu), who returns to his native Washington, DC to find his old neighborhood is gentrified beyond recognition. Dealing with alienation from his friends, troubled by the disappearance of a loved one and unsure of his place in this new community, Jay confronts issues of identity, isolation and loss on a tumultuous personal journey.

“Merawi Gerima’s impressive directorial debut is a powerful and poetic reflection on topics that are both deeply personal and undeniably universal,” Array president Tilane Jones said. “Merawi’s exploration of the impact of gentrification, underemployment and Black male identity conjures a timely interrogation of the social ills that plague Black communities nationwide.”

The acquisition was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein and Lezcano on behalf of Array and Carol Contes of Contes Law Corporation on behalf of Gerima.

“Residue” is Array Releasing’s fifth release in 2020, including Stephanie Turner’s “Justine,” Simon Frederick’s “They’ve Gotta Have Us,” Numa Perrier’s “Jezebel” and the upcoming “Lingua Franca” from Isabel Sandoval, which opens Aug. 26.

Check out a trailer for “Residue” above.