Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired North American rights to Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, director Sara Driver’s (When Pigs Fly, Sleepwalk) love letter to New York City’s past through the eyes of people who knew the renowned artist. The film, which world-premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim, will next screen at the 55TH New York Film Festival, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Magnolia plans a 2018 theatrical release.
Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years Of Jean-Michel Basquiat follows Basquiat’s life pre-fame and how New York City, the times, the people and the movements surrounding him formed the artist he became. Using never before seen works, writings and photographs, Driver worked closely and collaboratively with her friends and other artists who emerged from that scene: Nan Goldin, Jim Jarmusch, James Nares, Fred Brathwaite (aka Fab Five Freddy), Lee Quiñones, Luc Sante and many others.
Providing their thoughts, period film footage, music, images, and anecdotes of their young friend, they helped visually tell the story of Basquiat’s downtown NYC – pre Aids, President Reagan, the real estate and art boom, and before anyone was motivated by money and ambition. The definition of fame, success and power were very different than today – to be a penniless but published poet was the height of success, until everything changed in the early 1980’s. This is New York City’s story before that change.
“Sara has crafted an essential portrait of a boundary-pushing artist at the peak of his creativity,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “This is a wildly entertaining film that gets all the details right.”
“I have always admired Magnolia’s film selections and their attention to their releases over the years,” said Driver. “And now, I am honored and delighted to have our film with such a caring and wonderful company of true cinephiles.”
Directed by Sara Driver, Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years Of Jean-Michel Basquiat was produced by Rachel Dengiz and Sara Driver. Production companies are Hells Kitten Productions, Faliro House, Le Pacte, Leopardo Filmes, and Bunny Lake Films. Executive producers are Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Jean Labadie, and Paulo Branco.
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia co-EVP Dori Begley and Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, with ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmakers.
About Magnolia Pictures
Magnolia Pictures is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically-integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes the Landmark Theatres chain and AXS TV. Recent releases include Raoul Peck and James Baldwin’s Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro; Whose Streets?, filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis ’ unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death; David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s stranger-than-fiction documentary Tickled, Alex Gibney’s Zero Days, Ira Sachs’ Little Men and Werner Herzog’s Lo And Behold, Reveries Of The Connected World. Upcoming releases include Lucky, John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut starring iconic character actor Harry Dean Stanton; Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Square, Ruben Östlund ’s darkly humorous drama set against the backdrop of the international art world; and In The Fade, Fatih Akin’s riveting revenge drama starring Cannes Best Actress Award winner Diane Kruger.