She’s Gotta Have ItIt was on this day in 1985 that Spike Lee got the cameras rolling for his first feature, She’s Gotta Have It. The completed movie premiered to international audiences at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival and returned home with the Award of the Youth for Foreign Film. Later that year it opened to U.S. audiences, who equally embraced it by honoring Lee, also one of the movie’s co-stars and its sole writer, with a Spirit Award for Best First Feature. She’s Gotta Have It tells the story of Nola, a graphic artist from Brooklyn, who simultaneously dates three men, unwilling to commit and choose just one. Problems arise when the men decide they each want her to themselves. Shot in 15 days on a budget of $175,000, the movie eventually grossed over $7 million and, according to The New York Times, ushered in the independent film movement of the late 1980s.

Connections: Spike Lee has a rival in Tommy Redmond Hicks when they compete for the love of one woman in She’s Gotta Have It. But in real life, the men obviously work well together as Hicks had previously starred in Lee’s short Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983).