Blackbird, the 5th feature film from Patrik-Ian Polk – the director (nominated for 2 Independent Spirit Awards & 3 Image Awards, winner of a GLAAD Award for Best Film) of indies like Noah’s Arc, Punks, and most recently, The Skinny, and creator of the Noah’s Arc series for the Logo network – will have the honor of being the Closing Night film at the ongoing Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles, CA, which runs through February 17, 2014.
Polk’s drama centers on a talented teenage singer struggling with religion, sexuality, a troubled home life and other high school woes, in a small Southern Baptist town – a journey that ultimately leads to him learning to accept and love who he is.
Here’s an official synopsis:
Blackbird tells the story of 17-year-old Randy Rousseau, a devout high school choir boy struggling to come of age in the small religiously conservative Mississippi town he calls home. Randy juggles his role as star of the church choir with facing the everyday trials of life as a high school misfit- a misfit plagued by eerie visions and premonitions. Complicating matters, his little sister has gone missing and his parents have subsequently split up, leaving him to care for his heartbroken mother, Claire. When Claire discovers a shocking secret her son has been hiding, she blames him for the disappearance of his sister. Randy’s father, Lance, who has been keeping a watchful eye on his broken family, steps in to give his son a hand as he struggles to make the difficult transition into manhood.
As previously announced, newcomer Julian Walker is starring as Randy Rousseau, with Isaiah Washington and Mo’Nique playing the teen’s estranged father and mother.
Terrell Tilford, Gary L. Gray, Kevin Allesee, Torrey Laamar, Nikki Jane and D. Woods round out the cast of Polk’s drama, which is an adaptation of Larry Duplechan’s novel.
Blackbird, shot on location in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, will make its World Premiere as the Closing Night film at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), screening twice on Sunday, February 16 at 6pm and again at 7pm. The 7pm screening will be followed by an after party.
For more information on the closing night of the Pan African Film Festival featuring Blackbird visit: www.paff.org.
Shadow & Act is at the festival, and will review the film after its screening this weekend.
In the meantime, we’ve got your exclusive first look at the film’s official poster art, which incorporates those all-too familiar stained glass church window panels as a backdrop, providing a glimpse into Randy Rousseau’s life, while emphasizing the film’s religious themes. Check it out embedded below: