LOS ANGELES–Writer and director David Midell (NightLights) has been nominated for the “Someone to Watch Award” Independent Spirit Award honor in connection with his feature film, “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain.”
The announcement was made by Film Independent, the sanctioning body for The Independent Spirit Awards.
Midell’s nomination comes in the “Someone To Watch” category, which “recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.” Midell’s film “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain” has garnered significant media attention as well as a slew of awards from film festivals around the country. It’s currently being shepherded towards release by Voltage Pictures.
Executive Produced by Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman and Revelations Entertainment, The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain tells the true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African-American veteran with bipolar disorder, who was killed during a conflict with police officers who were dispatched to his home. Set to be released in late 2021, the film comes at an important time in the national conversation about systemic racism, and is a searing example of law enforcements’ sometimes callous and cruel treatment of people of color, echoing the recent high-profile incidents involving George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others.
As a former behavioral therapist, and on the autism spectrum himself, Midell comes to the material with an added layer of personal experience.
“Our goal all along has been to ask important questions about how our criminal justice system treats people of color, people in low-income areas, and people living with mental health challenges. Thanks to Film Independent and the Spirit Awards, this nomination will help us, and the Chamberlain family, amplify those questions. We’re also deeply grateful to be in the company of such worthy nominees.” Midell said of his nomination.
With an eye for true stories and real-life narratives, Midell’s projects possess a gritty authenticity and often echo social/political trends. Those qualities have made The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain a fixture at festivals and have led to a bevy of awards and nominations from high-profile festivals like Urbanworld, The American Black Film Festival, and The Austin Film Festival.
Midell is a partner at Redbird Entertainment, along with his producing partner for the film, Enrico Natale (Silver Skies). Midell and Natale’s upcoming projects include the feature Charlottesville, which dramatizes the violent white nationalist clashes from 2017; the terrifying, true-story, horror feature, The Exorcism of Emma Schmidt; and the docudrama, television series Crisis, about the formation of a specialized mental health unit in an urban police department.
The company is also currently in post-production on “Grounded,” a superhero comedy series shot entirely during quarantine, which stars Natale and internet sensation, King Bach.