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'Better Mus' Come' gets big US deal

Published:Wednesday | January 16, 2013 | 12:00 AM
From left: Sheldon Shepherd, Everaldo Creary and Richard Orgill in a scene from 'Better Mus' Come'.

Better Mus' Come now has a distribution deal in the United States.

The film became the first project of the just-launched ARRAY distribution company, an organisation which is the child of the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM).

ARRAY is, according to a release from the AFFRM, "dedicated to multi-platform distribution of black independent film".

Through an announcement from AFFRM's founder, Ava DuVarnay, ARRAY has acquired all US distribution rights.

A landmark in Caribbean filmmaking, Better Mus' Come is a stunning love story unfolding at one of the most violent moments in Jamaican history, when rival gangs were enlisted by warring political factions to disrupt the democratic process - and bloodshed was unleashed on the streets.

Winner of Best Feature Awards at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival and the Bahamas International Film Festival, Best Director Award at Pan-African Film Festival, and Best Actor Award at the American Black Film Festival, the film has also been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the British Film Institute. The producer is Paul Bucknor, with executive producers Joshua Bratter and Samantha Bratter.


"AFFRM's new label, ARRAY, is built to serve the tremendous burst of black cinematic talent across the globe, filmmakers who are embracing new technologies to tell their stories by any means necessary. The goal is to expand the brand cultivated over our first four theatrical releases by reaching new audiences via both digital and traditional platforms," explained DuVernay.

"Storm's work on Better Mus' Come as director, writer and cinematographer is wildly impressive, incredibly important and deserves to be seen by as many filmlovers as possible. We're proud that his gem will launch ARRAY."

The deal was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano on behalf of AFFRM with the producers.

Founded in 2011, AFFRM is a distribution collective of black film organisations dedicated to quality black independent films.

AFFRM's founding organisations include Urbanworld (NYC), Imagenation (NYC), Reelblack (Philadelphia), Langston Hughes Film Festival (Seattle), BronzeLens (Atlanta) and DVA (Los Angeles).

The parent company's theatrical releases to date include 2012 Sundance Best Director Award winner, Middle of Nowhere; 2011 Sundance World Cinema Audience Award winner, Kinyarwanda; 2011 Sundance Film Festival official 'Next' selection Restless City; and 2011 NAACP Image Award nominee for Best Independent Picture, I Will Follow.