EXCLUSIVE: Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group, has acquired North American VOD rights to the Emmy-winning documentary When Claude Got Shot. The film premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival and made its broadcast television debut in May 2022 on the award-winning PBS documentary anthology series Independent Lens.
When Claude Got Shot follows three strangers tragically bound together through gun violence and a five-year journey navigating a flawed justice system on the way to recovery and forgiveness. While visiting his hometown of Milwaukee, father of three and aspiring attorney Claude Motley is shot in the face by 15-year-old Nathan King during a carjacking gone wrong. Two nights later, King attempts to rob Victoria Davison, who fires her gun in self-defense, partially paralyzing King from the waist down. For the next five years, When Claude Got Shot follows the story of these three strangers brought together by a weekend of gun violence. At the center of this story is Motley and his arduous recuperation, both physically and emotionally, as he persists through multiple surgeries, catastrophic health care bills, and trauma. Over the course of his journey, Motley finds himself torn between punishment for King and the injustice of mass incarceration that disproportionately affects Black men and boys.
When Claude Got Shot was produced by 371 Productions in association with Stick Figure Entertainment, Snoopadelic Films, the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Black Public Media. The League is impact producer for the film.
On why he decided to Executive Produce When Claude Got Shot, Snoop Dogg said: “I’ve been directly affected by gun violence through the deaths of friends and associates. I understand the pain that Claude and his family felt. I also understand that there are victims on both sides of the gun, including the young man who shot Claude. We need to invest in our young people. That is how we heal our society.”
“Frankly, I wish I never made this film because that would mean my friend, Claude, would never have been shot,” said filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein. “But reality is real, so I’m honored by the trust Claude had in me and and the intimacy of filmmaking that our 20 years of friendship allowed — and I’m especially grateful that this wide release will further allow Claude to share his story and humanity, as we all must do our part to radically reduce gun violence.”
“I hope that anyone who watches this film will change their minds as to the complexity of gun violence,” says Claude Motley. “I have learned that gun violence doesn’t begin or end with a single bullet. Its impact doesn’t end solely with the person who was on the other end of the barrel. The impact of gun violence runs deep. For so many, especially amongst communities of color, it’s the catalyst for generations of ongoing trauma. Only when we can bring compassion and empathy to the subject matter and humanize the issue can we act passionately in solving the problem. This story is not just my story. It’s the story of thousands of people across this country who get shot every week, every month, and they deal with the same exact things I’ve dealt with”
On September 12th, When Claude Got Shot won the 2022 Emmy for “Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking.” The documentary will be available to rent and own on North American digital HD internet, and satellite platforms on September 27, 2022 through Freestyle Digital Media. The company negotiated the deal to acquire When Claude Got Shot directly with Jamie Schutz of Stick Figure Entertainment.