×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kino Lorber Nabs Police Reform Documentary ‘The Force’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Kino Lorber has acquired most North American rights to “The Force,” an acclaimed documentary about police reform. Peter Nicks, the filmmaker behind “The Force,” won a prize for directing the documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It is expected to get an awards push.

“The Force” arrives as the issue of police brutality has inspired a nationwide debate. It follows the Oakland Police Department over the course of two years as a new chief tries to make his officers more accountable and more aware of racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

In a positive review, Variety critic Owen Gleiberman wrote, “The strength, and fascination, of ‘The Force’ is that the movie isn’t on anyone’s side. It’s cognizant of the brutality and violence that police officers, in our era, have been caught on phone cameras committing. At the same time, it’s not out to demonize the police — it’s out to capture the pressures they’re under, and to show us what their job looks like from the inside.”

Popular on Variety

Kino Lorber will oversee the film’s theatrical rollout. It does not control television and streaming rights for “The Force.”

Its theatrical run starts Sept. 15 in New York and the Bay Area. It will then open in Los Angeles on Sept. 23. A national expansion will follow throughout the fall, before a VOD and home media release in 2018.

The film will show twice this week at the BAMcinemaFest in New York. Nicks will be present at both screenings to answer questions from the audience.

“We are thrilled to partner with Kino Lorber to release ‘The Force’ to audiences at this important moment in the history of police/community relations,” Nicks said in a statement.

“The Force” is the second film in a trilogy of documentaries concerning the relationship between public institutions and the communities they serve on the East Bay city. It is a follow-up to 2012’s “The Waiting Room,” which examined under-staffed hospital emergency rooms. The third film in the series, “Homeroom,” which will center on schools, is still in development.

Nicks previously worked as a staff producer for ABC News in New York and as a producer for the PBS documentary series “Life 360.” His documentary films are rooted in his hometown. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.

Recent Kino Lorber releases include the Oscar-nominated “Fire at Sea,” a documentary about the migrant crisis in Europe; and “Obit,” a look at the New York Times’ obituary writers.

“The Force” is a co-production of Open’hood, Inc. and a co-production of Independent Television Service (ITVS). Funding was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The deal was negotiated between Kino Lorber senior vice president Wendy Lidell and Cinetic Media’s Jason Ishikawa.

More Film

  • Bong Joon Ho Talks 'Parasite' on

    'Parasite' Director Bong Joon Ho Makes Late Night Debut Following Three Globe Nominations

    “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho sat down for his first U.S. late-night appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” Monday night. The director, who received best director and best original screenplay Globen Globe nominations with co-writer Han Jin Won, plus a best foreign language nod Monday morning, did not give much away about the film’s [...]

  • The Cold Blue

    Erik Nelson Wants to Preserve the Past With 'The Cold Blue' World War II Documentary

    Erik Nelson describes his documentary “The Cold Blue” as “the garage band of movies” — he didn’t have the large team or crew other documentary contenders have. “The Cold Blue” is a World War II documentary that looks at raids and B-17 bombing missions that took place during the war. Nelson’s team looked at 34 [...]

  • Ray Manzarek

    Film News Roundup: Concert-Documentary 'The Doors: Break on Thru' Set for February

    In today’s film news roundup, one-night showings of a Ray Manzarek tribute and the season premiere of “Doctor Who” have been set for 2020, and the MPAA hires a copyright expert. ONE-NIGHT SHOWINGS The Doors and Trafalgar Releasing are teaming on the worldwide Feb. 12 release of “The Doors: Break on Thru – A Celebration [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    Warner Bros. Hits Back at Atlanta Paper Over 'Richard Jewell' Legal Threat

    Warner Bros. is standing behind “Richard Jewell,” the Clint Eastwood drama that is the source of controversy over its portrayal of a female journalist trading sex for scoops. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sent a legal threat to the filmmakers on Monday asking them to include a disclaimer noting that the film took dramatic license. In a [...]

  • The Irishman

    'Captain Marvel,' 'The Irishman,' Other Original Scores to Miss Out on Oscar Nominations

    The Regina Spektor song from “Bombshell” and at least six major scores including “The Two Popes” and “The Irishman” won’t be on Oscar’s music shortlists when they are announced next week. That’s because none of them are on the official Academy eligibility lists from which music-branch members are now voting. Preliminary voting ends tomorrow afternoon, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content