IFC Films will release the searing police reform documentary Hold Your Fire by Emmy-nominated director Stefan Forbes (Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story). Hold Your Fire puts a spotlight on the longest hostage siege in NYPD history and the people instrumental in an event that birthed modern hostage negotiation and that could provide hope for repairing America’s broken policing system.
The documentary made its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, where it caught the attention of critics for its timely subject matter and ability to strike a compelling narrative while exploring the complex humanity of its subjects. Hold Your Fire will have its U.S. premiere at the upcoming 2021 DOC NYC, and IFC Films will release the film in 2022.
Hold Your Fire follows Shu’aib Raheem and his friends who attempted to steal guns for self-defense in Brooklyn in 1973. They were cornered by the NYPD, and a violent gun battle killed a police officer, beginning the longest hostage siege in NYPD history. The NYPD’s 130-year-old policy was to deliver an ultimatum, and then respond with deadly force, but maverick NYPD psychologist Harvey Schlossberg fought to avert a bloodbath, reform police methods, and save the lives of hostages, police, and the four young Muslim men at the heart of the conflict. Hold Your Fire uncovers what really happened in this landmark event.
Director Stefan Forbes added, “It’s an honor to team up with IFC Films, who are known for their taste and creative vision. We’re excited to release this film as our nation grapples with racial tension and the specter of increased political violence. We hope Dr. Schlossberg’s keen insights on conflict resolution can help Americans learn to hold our fire.”
Hold Your Fire is produced by Fab 5 Freddy, Stefan Forbes, Tia Wou, and Amir Soltani with consulting producer Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI).
Watch the first look teaser trailer for Hold Your Fire.