According to Variety, HBO has acquired "Bastards of the Party," a documentary tracing the bloody rise of the Bloods and Crips gangs in Los Angeles.

The pic was directed by Cle Shaheed Sloan and financed and produced by Antoine Fuqua through his Fuqua Films banner.

HBO docu prexy Sheila Nevins is closing a deal that includes a limited theatrical release followed by a run on HBO.

Sloan, a member of the Athens Park chapter of the Bloods, began his documentary aspirations while in jail. After reading a book that mentioned his neighborhood's place in gang history, Sloan became intrigued by why hatred between Bloods and Crips gangs fueled what he called "a civil war of self-black genocide."

Though he beat the murder charge that put him in jail, Sloan continued down a destructive path until ex-football star Jim Brown gave him a PA job on a movie set. That led him to Fuqua. After loading up Training Day with 156 Blood members, including himself, Sloan continued to act in Fuqua films and work as camera assistant and second-unit director.

Fuqua then opened his wallet for the docu.

"I'd seen too many shrines in South Central and thought it was worth asking where the first bullet came from that started all this violence," Fuqua said.

Sloan interviewed early black gang members and explored the origins of the Crips, who rose to battle racist white gangs in the 1960s, and the Bloods, who emerged after a high-profile murder in 1972 led five neighborhoods to oppose the Crips.

Sloan, who just directed a Nike ad with hoops star Carmelo Anthony, said the film industry saved him from a prison stretch or worse.

And when it came to making "Bastards," Sloan enlisted another Hollywood vet. Director and cinematographer Haskell Wexler came aboard to shoot part of the film -- right after Sloan told him how much he hated "Colors," a film Wexler shot.

"I'd told him the people behind 'Colors' poured gas on a fire, made a ton of money and went back to their mansions while we killed each other," Sloan said. "I didn't realize he shot that film ... I thought I'd blown it, but before the elevator door closed, Haskell stuck his foot in, gave me his card and said, 'If you get some film, I will shoot for you.' That opened a lot of doors."

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.