Donald Glover has proven his television chops in the past. His critically acclaimed FX show Atlanta led him to multiple Emmy awards and nominations in 2017. Since Atlanta, Glover has focused his talents on other smaller projects, namely Guava Island, which aired on Amazon Prime this year. The piece, a faux-autobiographical musical focused on a musician’s attempts at throwing a festival, was expected to reel in more Emmy success for the well-rounded artist. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter however, Guava Island will not even be submitted for consideration.
Although early reports hinted that Guava Island would be submitted as a pre-recorded variety special for voter consideration, according to The Hollywood Reporter Glover sees Guava Island as a film, not a television program. With this being said, he does not want his project, which features Rihanna competing against conventional TV programming in the upcoming award show season. Had it been entered into the best pre-recorded variety special category, Guava Island would have had to face Beyoncé Knowles’ Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, Netflix’s Springsteen On Broadway, CBS’s Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool, Fox’s Rent: Live (as the network aired a pre-recorded performance due to an unexpected injury).
Purple Rain and City of God reportedly inspired Glover’s Guava Island. His brother, Stephen Glover, provided the script, and Hiro Murai stepped in as director. Murai also directed multiple episodes of Atlanta, including its pilot, and the hugely successful ‘This Is America’ music video. It was filmed in Cuba over the course of four weeks in 2018. Their combined resume proved powerful, and the result is a feature worthy of much acclaim. The artistic triumph was not lost on The New York Times, who had this to say of Guava Island: “Any festival in the world would have coveted Murai’s first feature.”
Unfortunately, while Guava Island did make it to Coachella, Amazon prime, and theaters during a one-week theatrical run, it will not make any appearance at the Emmys. Moreover, Guava Island’s presence on Amazon prior to its theatrical run bans it from being considered for any film award.