KKK Drama 'Burden' Lands at David Glasser's 101 Studios (Exclusive)

Courtesy of 101 Studios

Andrew Heckler’s Southern, 1990s drama, based on a true story, stars Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker and Andrea Riseborough and is set for a November release.

David Glasser's 101 Studios has picked up the U.S. rights to Burden, Andrew Heckler’s Southern, 1990s-set drama that stars Garrett Hedlund as a Ku Klux Klan member who has a change of heart.

Burden, based on a true story about racism in America as faith and love overcomes hate, tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a KKK member (Hedlund) and an African American reverend, played by Forest Whitaker, in a small southern town where a museum was opened to celebrate the KKK. The film is billed as a story about redemption, forgiveness, and love.  

The ensemble cast includes Usher and Tom Wilkinson, playing a Klan leader. A limited launch is planned for Nov. 1, with a continued rollout through the rest of the month.

"Even though it was written over 20 years ago, unfortunately, Burden is more timely than ever. Now in a time when the world has become so polarized and divided by ethnicity, race and religion, Burden can deliver a powerful message of how extremes can join together to overcome and resolve our differences and hatred through love and tolerance," director Heckler said in a statement.

The film won audience awards at Sundance, where it debuted in 2018, and the Nantucket Film Festival.

Dallas Buyer's Club producer Robbie Brenner welcomed Heckler teaming with 101 Studios on the upcoming film release: "This has been a multi decade labor of love, passion and sheer will for us, and it couldn’t be happening at a better time in the world. David Glasser and his team share our passion for the story and understand how timely and important this movie is.”

Grammy Award winner Chris Stapleton wrote an original song for the film, titled "Burden." Scooter Braun and Dan Farah are executive producers.

David Glasser, David Hutkin and James Allen negotiated the distribution deal for 101 Studios, and CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content brokered the deal for the filmmakers.

101 Studios launched earlier this year with over $300 million in financing from billionaire Ron Burkle, Bob Yari, Marc Leder, Marvin Peart, Dan Schryer and East West Bank.