Surprise! Amazon Will Stream a Secret Donald Glover Movie This Weekend, for Free

Guava Island, also starring Rihanna, was shot in Cuba last year

Amazon will stream Guava Island for free for 18 hours; after that, it will be available only for Prime subscribers. Amazon
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It turns out that audiences won’t have to wait until Season 3 of Atlanta to see Donald Glover back on a TV screen. Amazon will be streaming Guava Island, a surprise new film starring and produced by Glover, beginning on Saturday, and will make it available for free for its first 18 hours.

Amazon Prime Video will stream Guava Island, which Glover shot secretly in Cuba last year, beginning Saturday, April 13 at 3:01 a.m ET/12:01 a.m PT. It will be available to stream for free for 18 hours, until 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT Saturday. After that, it will be available only for Amazon Prime subscribers.

Guava Island will also stream for free on Twitch.tv/primevideo at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT Saturday.

With the surprise announcement, Amazon is taking a page from Netflix’s playbook, as the rival streaming service has unexpectedly dropped movies like the Cloverfield sequel The Cloverfield Paradox, whose existence was revealed in a Super Bowl ad last year, and made the film available immediately to stream after the game ended.

As for the free streaming window, Amazon is hoping to expose its platform to a new audience, which could stick around after watching Guava Island to sample other Prime Video offerings.

Glover stars in the film alongside Rihanna and Black Panther’s Letitia Wright. Guava Island was written by his brother, Stephen Glover, and directed by Hiro Murai, Glover’s frequent collaborator (and a member of Adweek’s Creative 100).

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

The movie will premiere today at the Coachella Music Festival, a day before Childish Gambino—Glover’s musical alter ego—headlines the festival. Amazon picked up exclusive distribution rights to the film while it was in post-production.

“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,” said Murai in a statement. “Designers, performers, musicians, and filmmakers came together from all over the world to create this crazy fever dream of a production.”

Amazon released a brief teaser for Guava Island:


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.
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