A24 and Participant are teaming with music video auteur and artist Kahlil Joseph to adapt his video art installation “BLKNWS” into a feature film.
Joseph will make his directorial debut on the film that’s based on his video exhibition of the same name that is described as a conceptual news program and newscast blurring the lines between art, reporting, entrepreneurship and cultural critique.
Co-produced by the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), “BLKNWS” was presented as part of “Made in LA 2020: a version” and was displayed at 10 different venues and locations across Los Angeles, concluding with the Hammer Museum. The installation has two side-by-side TVs that show a looped video montage of Black subjects both past and present.
Participant will lead production and co-finance “BLKNWS – The Feature Film” (working title) alongside A24, who will also handle worldwide distribution.
Jeff Skoll and Anikah McLaren will executive produce, and Joseph will also produce the film alongside Onye Anyanwu, Amy Greenleaf, Nicolas Gonda.
Bradford Young, the cinematographer on “Mother of George,” “Arrival” and “Selma,” will serve as director of photography.
The deal for “BLKNWS” was negotiated by Jeannine Tang, General Counsel, Stacey Fong, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, and Stefanie Holmes, Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs on behalf of Participant, CAA Media Finance, which arranged the film’s financing, and Richard Thompson at Brecheen Feldman Breimer Silver & Thompson on behalf of the filmmaking team alongside A24.
In addition to his art work, Kahlil Joseph is known for his music videos for artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus and Sampha, among others, and he was the artist who Beyoncé originally approached to direct “Lemonade.” And though the album companion film was ultimately the product of multiple directors, his original has been screened in art museums around the country.
Joseph is represented by CAA.