Theatrical Release: August 20, 1986
SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT was shot in Super-16mm--in black-and-white, with one color sequence--on location in New York, New York.
The film's estimated budget was $175,000.
The film screened at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.
Actor Tracy Camilla Johns was a member of the Negro Ensemble Company prior to her performance in SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT.
The film begins with a quote from African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston. Lee was to continue this practice, referencing quotes from other African-American figures in his later films--for example, he quotes Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in DO THE RIGHT THING.
SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT is writer/director Spike Lee's feature film debut. His hour-long thesis JOE'S BED-STUY BARBERSHOP: WE CUT HEADS, which he made at New York University's Graduate Film program, won several awards, including a Student Academy Award. The favorable publicity it earned gave Lee enough momentum to find financial backing for SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT.
Lee received funding for SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT from, among other sources, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Brooklyn Arts Cultural Association, and the Black Film-Maker Foundation.
Reginald Hudlin, who plays a brief bit part in the film, is also a director whose credits include HOUSE PARTY and BOOMERANG.
In February 2001, Spike Lee told USA Weekend, "When I started, Michael Schultz was the only black director working. You had Richard Pryior and Eddie Murphy. That was it. It was HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE and SHGI [SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT] that really changed the landscape. That's when you had a lot more black films being made."