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Phase 4 picks up ‘Iceberg Slim’

Jorge Hinojosa's documentary set for release in spring

Phase 4 Films has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to Jorge Hinojosa’s documentary “Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp” for a spring theatrical release.

Deal comes three months after “Iceberg Slim” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

The movie is produced by Danny Bresnik and Jeff Scheftel and exec produced by Ice-T and Hinojosa. It includes interviews with Iceberg Slim, Chris Rock, Henry Rollins, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg and Quincy Jones.

The real-life “Iceberg Slim” was a Chicago pimp for more than two decades until deciding to get out in 1960. His autobiographical novel, “Pimp: The Story of My Life,” was published in 1969 as an insider look into the world of black pimps and was followed by six other novels, including “Trick Baby,” “Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim” and “Mama Black Widow,” before he died in 1992 — when much still remained unknown about his life and whether his writing was fact or fiction.

Joe Leydon gave “Slim” a strong review for Variety at Toronto: “A labor-of-love biodoc that nonetheless offers a warts-and-all evaluation of its subject, ‘Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp’ intrigues and illuminates as it considers the life and work of the notorious ex-procurer turned bestselling author whose raw and brutal books — most based on his own experiences — have been favorably compared with the literature of Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin and other chroniclers of the African-American experience.”

The deal was negotiated by Larry Greenberg at Phase 4 Films with UTA Independent Film Group and Marc H. Simon at Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard on behalf of the filmmakers.

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