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40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks
TypeProduction company
IndustryFilm and television
Founded1979; 44 years ago (1979)
FoundersSpike Lee, Monty Ross
HeadquartersSouth Elliott Place, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Area served
ProductsMotion pictures, television programs, commercials
ServicesFilm production, television production

40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks is the production company of Spike Lee,[1][2] founded in 1979.[3] The company name is a reference to the phrase most often used to refer to the early Reconstruction period policy and episode of events, in which certain recently emancipated black families on the Georgia coast were given lots of land no larger than 40 acres (160,000 m2) and in some cases surplus army mules. The order, issued in 1865 by General Sherman as "Special Field Order 15", was later revoked by Andrew Johnson, and the land was taken away from the freed slaves and returned to previous owners.[4]


The company has produced all of Lee's films, starting in 1986 with She's Gotta Have It.[3] After the success of films Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, Lee expanded the 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks brand by opening clothing stores with merchandise that bore the company's emblem. Lee has also done several collaborations with Nike, Eckō Unltd. and Brooklyn Denim.

40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks also has an advertising division with DDB called Spike DDB located in New York City. They have done Super Bowl, Nike and Lay's commercial spots. They have produced commercials and music videos in addition to Lee's films. The company established a music branch, used to designate records, 40 Acres and a Mule Musicworks in 1993.[5]

In the late 1980s, the company sought a partnership with Universal Pictures, which was reupped in September 1992, and stayed on for five years,[6] which lasted until March 2, 1997, when it was moved to Columbia Pictures.[7] Sam Kitt was named president of production at the Sony-based studio on June 18, 1997.[8]

In 2004, the company moved all of its operations to New York City with headquarters on South Elliott Place in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn.

In December 2021, the company had signed a multi-year creative partnership with Netflix to develop their film and television projects.[9]

Awards and honors


Release Date Title Directors Production partners Distributors
August 8, 1986 She's Gotta Have It Spike Lee Island Pictures
February 12, 1988 School Daze Columbia Pictures
July 21, 1989 Do the Right Thing Universal Pictures
August 3, 1990 Mo' Better Blues
June 7, 1991 Jungle Fever
November 18, 1992 Malcolm X Warner Bros.
(United States)
Largo International
May 13, 1994 Crooklyn Universal Pictures
April 19, 1995 New Jersey Drive Nick Gomez Gramercy Pictures
May 24, 1995 Tales from the Hood Rusty Cundieff Savoy Pictures
September 13, 1995 Clockers Spike Lee Universal Pictures
March 22, 1996 Girl 6 Fox Searchlight Pictures Fox Searchlight Pictures
October 16, 1996 Get on the Bus Columbia Pictures Sony Pictures Releasing
May 1, 1998 He Got Game Touchstone Pictures Buena Vista Pictures
July 2, 1999 Summer of Sam
October 22, 1999 The Best Man Malcolm D. Lee Universal Pictures
April 21, 2000 Love & Basketball Gina Prince-Bythewood New Line Cinema
August 18, 2000 The Original Kings of Comedy Spike Lee MTV Productions
Latham Entertainment
Paramount Pictures
October 6, 2000 Bamboozled New Line Cinema
July 1, 2001 3 A.M. Lee Davis Prism Leisure Corporation
December 19, 2002 25th Hour Spike Lee Touchstone Pictures
25th Hour Productions
Gamut Films
Industry Entertainment
Buena Vista Pictures
July 30, 2004 She Hate Me Sony Pictures Classics
March 24, 2006 Inside Man Universal Pictures
Imagine Entertainment
Universal Pictures
September 26, 2008 Miracle at St. Anna Touchstone Pictures
RAI Cinema
On My Own Produzioni Cinematografiche
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
August 10, 2012 Red Hook Summer Variance Films
November 27, 2013 Oldboy Good Universe
Vertigo Entertainment
January 25, 2015 Cronies Michael Larnell Circa 1978 Productions
February 14, 2015 Da Sweet Blood of Jesus Spike Lee Gravitas Ventures
December 4, 2015 Chi-Raq Amazon Studios Roadside Attractions
April 20, 2018 Pass Over Amazon Prime
August 10, 2018 BlacKkKlansman Blumhouse Productions
Monkeypaw Productions
QC Entertainment
Legendary Entertainment
Perfect World Pictures
Focus Features
October 2, 2018 Tales from the Hood 2 Rusty Cundieff
Darin Scott
Universal 1440 Entertainment
Hood Productions, Inc.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
May 17, 2019 See You Yesterday Stefon Bristol Netflix
June 12, 2020 Da 5 Bloods Spike Lee Rahway Road
Lloyd Levin/Beatriz Levin Production
October 17, 2020 American Utopia HBO Films
River Road Entertainment
Warner Music Entertainment
(United States/Canada)
Universal Pictures



  1. ^ Schartoff, Adam (August 10, 2012). "Get Out: Red Hook Summer Opens Today". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
  2. ^ Williams, Zelena (February 28, 2014). "Spike Lee Rants About Gentrification In Brooklyn". Uptown Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
  3. ^ a b Greif, Coby (3 February 2021). "10 Actors Who Own Their Own Production Company & Its Best Project". Screenrant. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  4. ^ Staples, Brent (July 21, 1997). "Forty Acres and a Mule". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Eller, Claudia (1993-01-08). "ICM inks to represent Spike Lee". Variety. Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  6. ^ Marx, Andy (1993-03-04). "Lee gets a go for 'Crooklyn'". Variety. Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  7. ^ Cox, Dan (1997-03-03). "40 ACRES & A MULE TO COL". Variety. Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  8. ^ Cox, Dan (1997-06-18). "Kitt tills Lee's 40 Acres". Variety. Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  9. ^ Laws, Khalid (2021-12-17). "Spike Lee signs multi-year creative partnership deal with Netflix". KOMO. Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  10. ^ 70th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 February 2023, at 02:36
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