Erik Nelson’s ‘A Gray State’ Acquired by First Run Pictures

Doc follows the mysterious deaths of filmmaker David Crowley and his family

Last Updated: September 28, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

“A Gray State,” executive produced by acclaimed documentarian Werner Herzog, has been picked up by First Run Features, A&E IndieFilms announced Thursday.

Director Erik Nelson’s documentary, which had its world premiere at this month’s Tribeca Film Festival, will receive a U.S. theatrical release this November for an awards push. Following its theatrical release, it will make its television debut on A&E.

“A Gray State” follows the mysterious deaths of filmmaker David Crowley and his family. The Iraq War veteran began production on his film “Gray State” in 2010, which was set in a dystopian near-future where civil liberties are trampled by an unrestrained government. However, in January 2015, he was found dead with his family in Minnesota. Conspiracy theories arose, with some believing Crowley was assassinated by the government concerned about the film.

“A Gray State” combs through Crowley’s archive of 13,000 photographs, hundreds of hours of home video and behind-the-scenes footage of his work.

“‘A Gray State’ is a deep dive into some of the fault lines that are fracturing America,” said Nelson.  “It’s a dark ride through the tunnel of conspiracy culture, the trauma experienced by many veterans, celebrity worship, gun obsession, and the unforeseen consequences of an addiction to social media. But it is a dark ride that tries to point a way to the light.”

“We’re proud and enthused to be working with Erik and A&E IndieFilms on their provocative new doc,” said Marc Mauceri, Vice President, First Run Features.  “‘A Gray State’ illustrates perfectly the sort of film that we love to focus on – a carefully crafted yet thoroughly entertaining exploration of American social and political undercurrents that will jumpstart a lot of conversations.”

Molly Thompson also executive produced alongside Herzog. Amy Briamonte produced.