- SANTA MONICA, Calif.
Hulu has acquired the rights to Minding the Gap, director Bing Liu’s moving documentary which earlier this year earned him the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking. The poignant film marked a stirring feature directorial debut for Liu--one which also landed him representation for commercials and branded content through Nonfiction Unlimited, a production company known for helping documentarians diversify into the ad arena. Minding the Gap also garnered Liu a slot in SHOOT’s 2018 New Directors Showcase, a lineup of up-and-coming directorial talent which was unveiled in May at the DGA Theatre in NYC.
Minding the Gap will be released as a Hulu Documentary both theatrically across key markets in the U.S. and on Hulu on August 17. The film tells the story of three young men—including Liu himself—who bond with one another via skateboarding to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. However as they grow up and adult responsibilities take hold, unexpected revelations jeopardize their decade-long friendship.
Compiling over 12 years of footage shot in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois, Minding the Gap has Liu searching for correlations between his skateboarder friends’ turbulent upbringings and the complexities of modern-day masculinity. As the film unfolds, Liu captures 23-year-old Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend as it deteriorates after the birth of their son--and 17-year-old Keire’s struggles with his racial identity as he faces new responsibilities following the death of his father. While navigating a difficult relationship between his camera, his friends, and his own past, Liu ultimately weaves a story of generational forgiveness while exploring the precarious gap between childhood and adulthood.
Since its world premiere at Sundance, Minding the Gap has received more than 25 awards and distinctions at festivals, including nine Jury Awards for Best Documentary and five Audience Awards.
“When I first started developing Minding the Gap, I knew I wanted it to be accessible to young audiences, so I’m enthused with the reach the film will have as a Hulu Original,” said Liu. “The film has elicited strong emotional responses with festival viewers around the world, so I’m happy with Hulu’s plans for a theatrical release and an outreach campaign to engage audiences in discussing the issues the film explores. I’m infinitely grateful for the friends and collaborators who’ve made the film possible, especially the brave participants of the film.”
The film was produced by Liu and Diane Quon through Kartemquin Films, and edited by Liu and Joshua Altman. Executive producers are Steve James, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg, Sally Jo Fifer, Justine Nagan, and Chris White. Minding the Gap is a co-production of Kartemquin Films, American Documentary|POV, and Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. Magnolia Pictures will handle the theatrical distribution.
Minding the Gap will join Hulu’s growing list of award-winning and critically acclaimed documentaries, including Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie, The Beatles: 8 Days A Week--The Touring Years, Too Funny To Fail, Obey Giant, Becoming Bond, Dumb, Batman and Bill, and March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step.