Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing has unveiled the first trailer for Burning Cane. 

The film was written, directed, photographed and co-edited by 19-year-old Phillip Youmans. It won the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Founders Award Winner for Best Narrative Feature, making Youmans the first Black director to win the award. While at Tribeca, it also won the award for Best Actor (Wendell Pierce) and Best Cinematography. The film was also a 2019 Venice Film Festival Official Selection.

Youmans created the film when he was 17, setting the film within “the complexity and complacency of family life and religion in rural Louisiana.” As the youngest director ever to be in competition at Tribeca and the first winner of the Founders Award, Youmans has quickly established himself as a force on the rise in Hollywood.

Here’s the official description of the film: Burning Cane tells the story of a deeply religious woman’s (Karen Kaia Livers) struggle to reconcile her convictions of faith with the love she has for her alcoholic son (Dominique McClellan) and a troubled preacher (Pierce). Set in rural Louisiana, the film explores the relationships within a southern Black protestant community, examining the roots of toxic masculinity, how manhood is defined and the dichotomous role of religion and faith.

Youmans told Shadow And Act in April about how he felt to make history at Tribeca. “I feel fortunate to be in Tribeca,” he said. “…I’m happy that Burning Cane is going to be seen. I’m happy that it resonated with people, and that it’s from my voice. I didn’t have to compromise anything. I’d say that’s the most validating aspect of it. This is a film that I wanted to make.”

The film will open in New York at the IFC Center on October 25 and in Los Angeles at ARRAY’s Amanda Theater on November 8. It will premiere on Netflix on November 6.

Watch the trailer below:


‘Burning Cane’: Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing Nabs 19-Year-Old Phillip Youmans’ History-Making Tribeca Winner

19-Year-Old Phillip Youmans Becomes Youngest Director And First Black Filmmaker To Win Tribeca’s Top Prize With ‘Burning Cane’

History Maker: 19-Year Old Director Phillip Youmans Talks the Black Church, ‘Burning Cane’ and Trusting His Vision [Tribeca Interview]


Photo: ARRAY

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