SAN FRANCISCO – ITVS, a co-producer of films that tackle complex social issues and enhance dialogue, has announced the first of its upcoming summer titles. When Claude Got Shot, by director Brad Lichtenstein, tells the story of three strangers brought together by gun violence. The film explores the complex and intrinsically woven themes of criminal justice, racial and economic equality and violence, all while disrupting the narrative of “black-on-black” crime in America.
The protagonist in this film is much like many Black fathers, and is looking for a better home and community in which to raise his family. In spite of this, odds are stacked against him. He is met with senseless violence. His assailant is a young African American teen, not much older than Claude’s son, who is then shot by a women defending herself. These three people are permanently linked, and forever changed. And while we may not hear the details of shootings we see on the news or know the families personally, it is likely that Claude’s story is resonant with many communities across the country.
"Our films reflect the news of the day, the issues that matter most to our society," said Sally Jo Fifer, president and CEO of ITVS. "Through a story about gun violence like When Claude Got Shot, we can begin to understand perspectives on the issue and talk about solutions."
When Claude Got Shot was funded through ITVS, now celebrating 25 years of diverse filmmaking. Since 1991, ITVS has allocated more than $175 million to filmmakers who focus on untold stories, years in the making, that stoke civic dialogue to strengthen our democracy. The stories change, but ITVS’ focus on fostering the creative vision of independents remains the core of its mission.
“This is my sixth ITVS funded project and I’m thrilled to work with such passionate supporters of independent films”, said Brad Lichtenstein, award-winning filmmaker. “This one is a little different – a personal film because Claude is a close friend of mine. Our hope is to bring light to the taboo and difficult subject of gun violence afflicting black communities.”
Brad’s previous ITVS productions include What We Got: DJ Spooky's Quest for the Commons; BizVizz; As Goes Janesville; Caught in the Crossfire - Arab Americans in Wartime; and Almost Home under ITVS funding and guidance. This is Talleah Bridges McMahon's first film with ITVS.