NEW: Watch Trailer for Feature Documentary THE HOLLY
Today it was announced that the award-winning film, The Holly,” will be available on various Video OnDemand distribution platforms as well as Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play and other streaming providers beginning Friday, February 3rd. A theatrical release in select cities will be announced soon.
Distributed by Gravitas Ventures, executive produced by Academy Award-winner Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up, The Big Short) and directed by first-time filmmaker and award-winning journalist Julian Rubinstein, The Holly brings to bear eight years of embedded, investigative reporting into a riveting exposé of the connections between street violence, police corruption, political collusion and gentrification in the city of Denver and its Black communities.
Filmed by Rubinstein, and as reported in his award-winning book, The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood (a NYT Editor’s Pick), The Holly opens a window into the underbelly of one of Denver’s historic neighborhoods through a shooting case involving Terrance Roberts, a former gang member turned activist, co-leader of the Justice for Elijah McClain Movement and current Denver mayoral candidate.
“Soon after I began reporting on the shooting in the Holly involving Terrance, I became aware that there was a perspective not represented in the widespread media coverage,” says Rubinstein. “I didn’t expect to find myself in the middle of a story of corruption and collusion involving law enforcement, gang members, developers, City Hall and even the local media. This story illustrates not only how power operates in Denver, but in America today. I’m honored to have had the chance to tell this important story in a way that centers voices from the community and highlights the complexity of the challenges faced by the activists working in them.”
Said Roberts, “When I left a life of gang violence and incarceration behind, I did not in my wildest dreams think I could be in just as much danger as a community organizer. But as I began making inroads getting my community’s voice heard in the midst of the gentrification of the neighborhood, a system within the system was developed to slander, undermine and eventually literally attack me. This story illustrates why so many people in communities like this are afraid to speak up. There is an ‘Urban War Industrial Complex’ in America that is not being discussed—and if you try to speak out about it, what happened to me—which is preserved on camera—can now serve as a warning as to what can happen.”
“From income inequality, race, gun violence and corruption, The Holly is the macro of America in the micro,” says McKay. “Julian Rubinstein managed to capture an astonishing story as it was playing out, despite the very real risks.”
To date, The Holly has won multiple awards – including the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival’s 2022 Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary, Santa Fe International Film Festival’s 2022 Jury Prize for Best Documentary, and Denver International Film Festival’s 2022 Audience Award for Best Documentary. The film received backing from the Rocky Mountain NAACP, Doc Society, Bertha Journalism Fund, Threshold Fund, Catapult Film Fund, The Edit Center, IFP, Colorado Film and TV office, Denver Film Society, University of Denver and Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries.
Additional credits for the film include Executive Producers Lana Garland, Damon Davis (Whose Streets) and the award-winning DP Tony Hardmon (Sicko, Crips and Bloods: Made in America), who also served as DP on The Holly; Producers donnie l. betts (Music is My Life and Politics My Mistress), Dia Sokol Savage (Finding Kendrick Johnson) and Sarah Dowland (Zero Days and We Steal Secrets); Co-Producer Britta Erickson (Convention, Rolling Papers, Actor Martinez); and Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain.