Swirl Films, the leading independent TV and urban film production company in the United States, recently announced they have secured the life rights of rapper, entrepreneur and activist, Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell.
Through this partnership, Swirl and Campbell will develop and produce scripted and unscripted projects highlighting Campbell’s massive and lasting influence on the entertainment industry, as well as his community-driven activism that continues to make an impact. The deal was organized through Nikki Byles, producer and co-head of development at Swirl Films.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Swirl Films family. Eric Tomosunas’ experience in music, television, and film made the decision to partner with him and his company a no brainer. My content over the years has been tied to both, and with Eric and his team, I am confident that our partnership will be a fruitful one. I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” states Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell.
“Luke’s influence on not only the entertainment industry, but on society as a whole is undeniable,” said Eric Tomosunas, founder of Swirl Films. “He is a prime example of how fearlessness and determination transcend hip hop to inspire a generation, and we are honored to bring his extraordinary stories to the screen”
A rap artist, wealthy musical entrepreneur, high school coach, and involved, active citizen—Luther Campbell’s life is a reflection of modern America. Born in Miami’s notorious Liberty City neighborhood, Campbell saw firsthand poverty, despair, and crime. He also discovered the gift of transformation we all possess—knowledge that has made him a passionate fighter willing to take on the most powerful adversaries in the name of justice and what’s right. His rap group 2 Live Crew and successful independent label made him a superstar and a multi-millionaire—and the center of enormous controversy.
The “King of Dirty Rap” who helped pioneer the worldwide phenomenon known as the Miami Bass sound infuriated the conservative mainstream and became Public Enemy #1 when hip hop crossed the color line into white America. Campbell spent over one million dollars of his own money fighting cops and prosecutors all the way to the Supreme Court to protect his—and every other artist’s—right to free speech, setting landmark legal precedents that continue to shape the entertainment industry today.
Twenty years later, Campbell uses his fame and fortune to give back to the community.
Outside of music, Campbell has also made waves in the film, business, sports, and political industries. He began his acting career in 1989, with roles in the movies Ride and The Players Club, in 1996 he created, executive produced the television series “Luke’s Peep Show” with BET and released and executive produced his first film project, “Don of All Dons” in 2004.
In 2006, Luke appeared as DJ Luke in the 2006 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and conceived of and starred in the VH1 reality TV show “Parental Advisory” in 2008. 2015 saw the release of his memoir, “The Book of Luke.”
In 2018, he created, and executive produced the critically acclaimed Starz docuseries, “Warriors of Liberty City,” bringing attention to a youth sports league that significantly benefited the Miami neighborhood in which he grew up.
This is the latest announcement from Atlanta-based Swirl Films, which was founded in 2001 by Eric Tomosunas. The company produces the wildly popular original drama series, Saints & Sinners, in addition to over 60 original productions across various platforms and distributors, including BET, TV One, Bounce, Lifetime, Hallmark, Reel One, Netflix & Up TV.
Most recently, Swirl Films announced the creation of the Black Life Film Fest, which will highlight short films that explore the beauty and complexities of “Black Life” and what that means to individuals and society.