Spike Lee Presents, A Nate Parker Film AMERICAN SKIN
Director and Writer: Nate Parker
Starring: Omari Hardwick, Beau Knapp, Theo Rossi, Shane Paul McGhie, Milu, Milauna Jackson, Tony Espinosa
AMERICAN SKIN weaves a layered story in the tradition of Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men and Dog Day Afternoon, that follows a Black Iraqi War Vet, who after being denied of a fair trial following the shooting death of his teenage son (his only child) by a white police officer, desperately seeks justice and accountability for his son’s death.
Linc (Nate Parker), Derwood (Omari Hardwick), Officer Randall (Beau Knapp), Sgt. Reyes (Theo Rossi), Jordin (Shane Paul McGhie), Tayana (Milauna Jackson), Deon (Mo McRae), Kijani (KJ) (Tony Espinosa), Melvin (Michael Warren), Jayden (Allius Barnes).
After witnessing his son murdered by a white police officer who goes uncharged, Marine veteran Lincoln ‘Linc’ Jefferson takes justice into his own hands in a series of events he hopes will finally lead to justice for his son.
In 2014, following the death of Michael Brown, I traveled to Ferguson, Missouri to gain a better understanding of the tensions between law enforcement and young men and women of color. The most tragic moment of this trip arrived when I stood downtown between two infuriated groups of citizens. From one side came yells of ‘Justice for Mike Brown’ and on the other ‘Support Our Police’. It became clear to me, instantly, the disconnect in our understanding of citizenship, law enforcement, and our responsibility to preserve American life. As an American citizen, father, brother, son and artist, I felt compelled to use my platform as a filmmaker to respond to this crisis in a way that could not only promote social equity, but initiate a global culture shift that can result in the preservation of lives. If saving one life is the only thing this film achieves, it will have served its core purpose.
WHY THIS MOVIE NOW?
In response to many of these injustices and growing divisions happening in our country, I have developed a piece that I hope will challenge systems of oppression by promoting a much-needed dialogue between law enforcement and community members of color. This dialogue, while spoken of often, has never been realized in the arena of public discourse. This project will create a public forum whereby individuals on both sides can speak truthfully about what they feel regarding circumstances surrounding many of the decisions that are made which affect the lives of both citizens and members of law enforcement.
This project will explore the divides often created by history, politics, and media, which prohibit healthy communication and relationships between our nation’s citizens. We will accomplish this by forcing these groups of people into a controlled environment together. My hope is that this dialogue will not only create healing within these broken relationships, but will serve as preventative maintenance, by conditioning both sides to take a necessary beat, which can in turn save a life.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO BE THE RESULT OF THIS PROJECT?
The answer is simple. Truth, healing, and reconciliation. America, as a nation, may appear to be down, but we are not out. By tackling difficult issues such as race, fear, and cultural division, we can set a course toward genuine racial healing. One that, if successful, can become a model for addressing other systemic issues in America and across the world.
NATE PARKER – WRITER / DIRECTOR / ACTOR
Director, actor, screenwriter, producer and humanitarian Nate Parker has focused much of his life and career on addressing social injustice and creating content that addresses disparities for marginalized communities around the world. He first received critical attention for his starring role in The Great Debaters opposite Director/Actor Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker.
Nate later played the lead role in George Lucas’ Red Tails, whose supporting cast included Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr. In addition to starring in the Spike Lee–directed Red Hook Summer, Nate generated critical acclaim for his performance in Arbitrage with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth. Nate played the leading role opposite Gugu Mbatha Raw in Beyond the Lights, for which he was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
Nate’s directorial debut, Birth of a Nation, won the 2016 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award while shattering the record for the highest acquisition price ever paid at Sundance. A Norfolk, Virginia native, Nate grew up less than 30 miles from the site of Nat Turner’s unprecedented slave rebellion upon which the film is based. For his work on Birth of a Nation, he received the Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award, among others.
Nate has received an honorary Doctorate from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas—the school upon which the true story The Great Debaters was based - where he also founded the Nate Parker Summer Film Institute to guide the next generation of black filmmakers. To date, over one hundred students have graduated from the program.
Production Co: A Tarak Ben Ammar/Mark Burg Production, Spike Lee Presents, A Nate Parker Film, Eagle Pictures, Tiny Giant Entertainment
Starring: Omari Hardwick, Beau Knapp, Theo Rossi, Shane Paul McGhie, Milu, Milauna Jackson, Tony Espinosa, Wolfgang Bodison, Sierra Capri, AnnaLynne McCord, Ryan Mulkay, James Burns, Nicole Randall Johnson, Brighton Sharbino, Jahir Acosta, Evan Dodge, Kristofer Sykes, Karibel Rodriguez, Hunter Bodine, Rick Gifford, Andrew Laugheinhouse, Felix Miranda, Larry Sullivan, Aaron Leddick, Michelle M. Miracle, Kavon Ray, Dominic Bogart, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Petri Hawkins Byrd, DeDe Drake, Roman Mitichyan, Ceyair Wright, Mel Fair, Markina Harris, Courtney Friel, Kristen O’Meara, Serene Peterson, Trinecia Moore-Pernell, Steve Kuzj
Director and Writer: Nate Parker
Producers: Mark Burg, Tarak Ben Ammar, Lukas Behnken
Executive Producers: Zak Tanjeloff, Michael Novogratz, Vaagn Sarkissian, Bagrat Sargsyan
Cinematography: Kay Madsen
Editor: Billy Weber, Matthew Feinman
Composer: Henry Jackman
Production Design By - Geoffrey Kirkland
Edited By - Billy Weber, Matthew Feinmann
Costume Design By - Tiffany White Stanton
Co-Producers - R.D. Delgado, Tamara Houston
Associate Producers - Van Hayden, George A. Loucas, Jane Oster, Dwight Wilson II
Casting by - Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd, CSA, Kelly Knox