A feature project that we’ve been following since 2011, when it was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab that year, is now set to make its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival next month.
Titled Imperial Dreams, it’s produced by the same filmmaker (Katherine Fairfax Wright) who co-directed, edited, and shot the acclaimed documentary Call Me Kuchu (the powerful and moving film that follows the daily life of David Kato – the first openly gay Ugandan man).
Malik Vitthal makes his feature film directorial debut from a script he co-wrote with Ismet Prcic.
And, as we are only just learning, John Boyega stars in the film, which is said to be inspired by true events and centers on two lifelong friends – exceptional young black men – from the Imperial Courts housing projects in Watts, Los Angeles who are each chasing their own version of the American Dream.
The official synopsis follows:
A 21-year-old, reformed gangster’s devotion to his family and his future are put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles.
Here’s director Malik Vitthal’s bio:
[Malik Vitthal] (photo on the left) was born in Los Angeles and was immersed in Eastern philosophy at an early age while traveling the world with his mother. Vitthal was selected to represent the United States three times as a Delegate at the World Youth Conference for Peace in India. An alumnus of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a FIND Project Involve fellow, he has made six short films that have been screened at festivals worldwide. Vitthal co-wrote the screenplay Imperial Dreams, which was developed at the 2011 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab where it received the Time Warner Storytelling Grant and the Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship. Vitthal also participated in the inaugural 2011-12 Jerusalem International Film Lab, and Imperial Dreams will mark his feature directorial debut.
Needless to say, this is a project we’ll be watching henceforth, as it progresses.
The above photo is from the film, featuring Boyega. But no trailer yet.
The Sundance Film Festival runs from January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.