Written by on Jul 16, 2015. Posted in On Location

Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq confirmed as first Amazon Original Movie

Spike Lee’s new film Chi-Raq will be the first Amazon Original Movie. Shot in Chicago, the film explores the black-on-black violence endemic in parts of the city. Chicago is a popular filming location and currently hosts Chicago Fire and Chicago PD at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

The name Chi-Raq amalgamates ‘Chicago’ and ‘Iraq’, and is how many Chicago citizens now refer to their city as a comment on the level of daily gang violence.

Amazon Original Movies is an initiative by which Amazon will organise theatrical distribution and then online release windows through Amazon Instant Video.

“Spike Lee is one of the most distinct and visionary filmmakers of our time,” said Ted Hope, Head of Motion Picture Production at Amazon Studios.

“It would be impossible to find a better filmmaker with whom to launch our studio. He has a unique voice, a distinct eye, and he tackles important subjects with humour and heart, pointing to solutions and not exploiting the problems. Chi-Raq may be his greatest, and definitely his boldest film yet – everything about it is distinctive.”

Lee commented: “I’m honoured to be part of the film that will launch Amazon Studios and to tell a story that is so important. Please don’t be fooled by the title of Chi-Raq. This new Spike Lee joint will be something very special. We have assembled a stellar cast.”

The production of Chi-Raq has caused controversy in Chicago. Lawmakers have been unhappy about the inflammatory title which they believe will have a negative impact on national perceptions of Chicago. The city still appears unsure about whether it is prepared to grant the movie any kind of filming incentive support.


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