40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks

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40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks
Founded 1986
Founder Spike Lee
Headquarters Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York
Area served
Services Film production, television production
Website www.40acres.com

40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks is the production company of noted American filmmaker Spike Lee.[1][2]

The company is named after a famous episode of early Reconstruction. In 1865, General Sherman issued "Special Field Order 15", which ordered the distribution of lots of 40 acres (160,000 m2) to some freed black families on the Georgia coast, and also distributed some surplus army mules. After President Lincoln was assassinated, President Andrew Johnson revoked the order, took the land away from the freed slaves, and returned it to the previous owners.[3]

After the success of films such as Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X, Lee expanded the 40 Acres brand by opening small clothing stores with merchandise that bore the 40 Acres emblem. Lee has also done several collaborations with clothing companies such as Nike, Eckō Unltd. and Brooklyn Denim.

40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks also has an advertising division with DDB called Spike DDB located in New York. They have done several famous Super Bowl, Nike and Lay's potato chip commercial spots. They have produced hundreds of commercials and music videos in addition to Lee's famous films.

In 2004, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks moved all of its operations to New York City with headquarters in Spike Lee's native borough of Brooklyn. 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks headquarters is located on South Elliott Place in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The production company won a Peabody Award in 2010 for If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise.[4]


  1. ^ Schartoff, Adam (August 10, 2012). "Get Out: Red Hook Summer Opens Today". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Williams, Zelena (February 28, 2014). "Spike Lee Rants About Gentrification In Brooklyn". Uptown Magazine. 
  3. ^ Staples, Brent (July 21, 1997). "Forty Acres and a Mule". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ 70th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2011.

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