‘Guava Island,’ Childish Gambino’s film with Rihanna, hits Amazon and Coachella

Childish Gambino's film "Guava Island" is coming to Coachella and Amazon.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
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Donald Glover isn’t just headlining at this weekend’s Coachella festival as his musical alter ego, Childish Gambino. The multi-hyphenate will also debut his long-anticipated film “Guava Island,” which co-stars Rihanna, at the event.

Then, it’ll stream on Amazon Prime Video.

The 20th Coachella Valley Art and Music Festival kicks off in Indio on Friday and there’s been a lot of chatter about how this year’s headliners — Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande — could ever top Beyoncé’s groundbreaking “Beychella” performance from last year. An unexpected deal with Amazon could be a solid start. (Hey, if Bey can partner with Netflix, why can’t Glover team up with Amazon?)

The Cuban-set tropical thriller “Guava Island,” about a local musician who is determined to throw a crowd-pleasing festival, debuts at Coachella on Thursday, the day before Childish Gambino performs, in a specially constructed theater built for the event. It will continue to screen on the Coachella grounds until the end of the festival.


FULL COVERAGE: Coachella 2019 »

In the meantime, the film will begin streaming on Amazon on Saturday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific, according to Amazon Prime Video, which has partnered with New Regency to distribute the film. It will continue to stream for free on Amazon until 6 p.m. Pacific on Saturday, then will be available only to Amazon Prime Video customers.

Amazon Studios acquired the exclusive distribution rights to the film in a competitive bidding situation while it was still in post-production, the studio said.

“I’m really humbled having the opportunity to present something this timely and timeless,” Glover said in a statement on Wednesday. “Between Rihanna and the people of Cuba, this is one of my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on.”

Coachella 2019: Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande and more continue the festival’s move toward the mainstream »


Though it’s unclear what the running time is, the film is meant to be “an expansion of Glover’s idea of freedom. In creative and business terms,” Amazon said. It was written by his brother Stephen Glover and is based on a story by the artist collective Royalty.

“Guava Island” is directed by Hiro Murai and also stars Nonso Anozie and Letitia Wright. Murai has previously directed a slew of Childish Gambino’s music videos, including the Grammy-winning short “This Is America,” and has worked with the artist on his FX series “Atlanta” and HBO’s “Barry.”

“‘Guava Island’ is the end result of four incredible weeks spent in Cuba with some of the most inspiring creative talents I’ve ever met,” Murai said in a statement. “Designers, performers, musicians, and filmmakers came together from all over the world to create this crazy fever dream of a production.”

Twitter: @NardineSaad