Now streaming on Netflix, The Forty-Year-Old Version is a New York story about a very New York protagonist — a 40ish African-American playwright who turns to hip-hop as a creative outlet while she struggles with the compromises required to get her latest play past the gate-keepers of a largely white theatrical establishment.
The story is semi-autobiographical, with writer, director, producer and star Radha Blank drawing on her experiences as a writer (her play, Seed, was produced off-Broadway in 2011) and part-time rapper (her alter-ego, RadhaMUSprime, filled downtown Manhattan venues in the mid-2010s with frank rhymes about sex, hip-hop, and getting older) and reflecting on her relationship with her own mother and brother.
As furious and world-weary as it is hilarious and heartfelt, The Forty-Year-Old Version is a barbed love letter to New York City with a widescreen black-and-white aesthetic that pays tribute to both Manhattan and She’s Gotta Have It. The rich visuals serve a character-driven narrative that highlights the struggle for authenticity and integrity in both art and life.
In addition to a slew of honors from film critics, The Forty-Year-Old Version won the directing award at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and Blank has been nominated for a DGA Award for first feature and for a BAFTA for best leading actress.
NAB Amplify reunited Blank with her collaborators at Goldcrest Post — editor Robert Grigsby Wilson, supervising sound editor Eric Hirsch, post-production supervisor Rebekah Hernandez and Goldcrest Managing Director Domenic Rom — for a behind-the-scenes discussion of how the team helped realize her vision on screen.