A bidding contest among streaming platforms including Apple and Amazon for a documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Ava duVernay of late Eritrean-American star Nipsey Hussle has been won by Netflix.
The bidding of the project, which was reported to be in the teens, will be produced by DuVernay and the slain rapper’s “Hussle’s Marathon Films”, report says.
Born Ermias Davidson Asghedom to an Eritrean father and an African-American mother, Hussle, 33, was fatally shot multiple times in front of his Marathon Clothing store at 3420 W. Slauson Ave. in South Los Angeles in March 2019.
Neighborhood Nip, as he was affectionately known, was on course to have a stellar 2019 riding off the success of his 2018 Grammy-nominated Victory Lap album after being independent for so long.
Outside music, the rapper was widely known for his philanthropic works and entrepreneurial savviness, owning several businesses along the block he was shot. He also never stopped short of empowering the youth through various community outreach programs and helping residents in need whenever he could.
The rapper won two posthumous Grammys and was honored with a tribute performance at last month’s event. DuVernay, who introduced the tribute, was personally contacted by the rapper’s estate to produce and direct the feature-length documentary after being impressed with her work on the 13th and When They See Us, reports say.
In 2018, DuVernay inked a $100 million deal with Warner Bros Television Group to develop and produce television projects exclusively for the entertainment company.
A well-respected Hollywood filmmaker, DuVernay’s entry into the film industry started in 2005 with a short film called Saturday Night Life,but soon diverted to documentaries due to budgetary constraints.
After a number of documentaries and narrative films, Duvernay made her mark globally in 2012 when her film, Middle of Nowhere, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She won the U.S. Directing Award: Dramatic, becoming the first African-American woman to do so. The film also earned her the 2012 Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award.
From there, it has been up and up for Duvernay, who has become a much sought-after filmmaker.
She has worked on projects such as the August 28: A Day in the Life of a People, which was commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; Selma, which earned her numerous accolades, and 13th, a documentary on the status of prisons in the U.S. and named after the 13th amendment.
The filmmaker has also worked on A Wrinkle in Time, based on a 1962 novel of the same name, which made DuVernay the first woman of color to direct a live-action film with a budget of over $100 million and When They See Us, the powerful miniseries about the Central Park Five.