Thursday, July 16, 2015

Spike Lee Makes History With First-Ever Amazon Original Movie "Chi-Raq"

Jennifer Hudson and Spike Lee.Some Chicago Politicians are not happy with the title of the film "Chi-Raq", because it is a negative endonym of residents of Chicago's South Side as a notorious war zone of criminals.

Amazon Studios Announces Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq as First-Ever Amazon Original Movie

Film features Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Teyonah Parris, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Angela Bassett with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 15, 2015-- (NASDAQ:AMZN)–Amazon Studios today announced that Spike Lee’s next major film (working title, Chi-Raq) is the first-ever Amazon Original Movie produced. Chi-Raq will feature Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Teyonah Parris, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Angela Bassett with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. In what will be her breakout-starring role, Teyonah Parris will play the central lead character. Chi-Raq was shot entirely in Chicago and wrapped last week.

Written by both the critically acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee (Do The Right Thing), and writer/director Kevin Willmott (C.S.A.: Confederate States Of America), and directed by Lee, Chi-Raq will shed light on the serious, but often overlooked issue of violence in inner city Chicago.

“Spike Lee is one of the most distinct and visionary filmmakers of our time,” said Ted Hope, Head of Motion Picture Production at Amazon Studios. “It would be impossible to find a better filmmaker with whom to launch our studio. He has a unique voice, a distinct eye, and he tackles important subjects with humor and heart, pointing to solutions and not exploiting the problems. Chi-Raq may be his greatest, and definitely his boldest film yet—everything about it is distinctive.”

“I’m honored to be part of the film that will launch Amazon Studios and to tell a story that is so important. Please don’t be fooled by the title of Chi-Raq, this new Spike Lee joint will be something very special. We have assembled a stellar cast,” said Spike Lee.

Bob Berney, Head of Marketing and Distribution at Amazon Studios, explained, “For Chi-Raq, and for future projects, we will collaborate with a top-tier theatrical distributor who shares our vision and passion. We will work together to craft bold and distinctive marketing and distribution approaches for all our films.”

First announced in January, Amazon Original Movies is an initiative by Amazon to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution exclusively for Prime members. With creative development and production headed up by independent film visionary Ted Hope, Amazon Original Movies focuses on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators. Bob Berney recently joined the Amazon Original Movies team to lead theatrical distribution and marketing efforts and will be managing third-party distributors.

Amazon Original Movies will join Amazon Original Series such as Catastrophe, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, Alpha House and multi-Golden Globe winner Transparent, all available exclusively on Amazon for Prime members. Also premiering this fall are new Amazon Original series Hand of God, Red Oaks, and The Man in the High Castle.

About Amazon Instant Video

Amazon Instant Video offers Amazon Prime members instant access to stream tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including award-winning Amazon Original Series, available at no additional cost. New release movies and current TV shows are available for rent or purchase.

Prime members can enjoy binge-worthy TV shows including Amazon Original Series airing now such as the multi-Golden Globe-winning series Transparent, the hour-long drama Bosch, based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling books, the Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman comedy, Mozart in the Jungle, and the comedy created by and starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe, in addition to HBO favorites like The Sopranos, True Blood and Girls, and popular primetime series including 24, Downton Abbey, Extant, Falling Skies, Grimm, Hannibal, Justified, Orphan Black, Teen Wolf, The Americans, and Under the Dome. Prime members also have access to a collection of kids shows now airing including Amazon Original Series Annedroids, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street and the Annecy, Annie and multi-Emmy Award-winning Tumble Leaf, as well as popular shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, and Blue’s Clues. In addition to tens of thousands of titles to instantly stream, the Amazon Prime membership (www.amazon.com/prime) includes more than one million songs, more than a thousand playlists and hundreds of stations through Prime Music, unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, early access to select Lightning Deals, unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos, and access to borrow from more than 800,000 books for Kindle owners–all for $99 a year.

Customers can watch movies and TV shows with the Amazon Video app. The Amazon Video app is available on hundreds of devices including Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Roku, smart TVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Panasonic, the Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii game consoles, as well as on mobile devices like Fire tablets, Fire phone, iPhone, iPad, and Android tablets and phones. Customers can also watch online at Amazon.com/AIV.

Comprehensive cast and crew information, including bios and filmographies, is available on Amazon’s IMDb (www.imdb.com), the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content.

About Amazon

Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Amazon Echo are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150715005463/en/

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

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