Released today, here’s what the filmmaker (Timour Gregory) tells me is a short film prequel to a feature film he’s been developing for a few years, titled “Revolutions Per Minute.” which stars Jadon Woodard and features the acting talents of Harry Lennix and Pharoahe Monch. The feature, in brief, will center on the story of Billy da Kid, an American rapper who tries to stage a comeback in Paris in the late 90s.
Titled ‘Keep Pushing’, the fifteen-minute prequel takes place 8 years earlier, when a teenage Billy decides to enlist in the army on the eve of the first Gulf War.
Others attached to the feature project include Grammy Award-winning musician Robert Glasper (making his film debut), Brandon Young of HBO’s “The Wire,” Ty Hickson of “Gimme the Loot,” Jimmy Jean-Louis and renowned French rapper Kery James, all in a film that will be shot in New York and in Paris.
Veteran hip-hop producer Nottz, who has worked with Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes, to name a few, will be supervising the soundtrack for the film.
In the prequel, Lennix plays the army recruiter who tempts Billy into enlisting, while Pharoahe Monch plays the producer who helps him make his first professional record.
Shot last year, “Keep Pushing” is meant to give audiences and prospective backers a sample of what to expect with the feature – something which many filmmakers have done and continue to do (using a short to generate interest and attracting financing for the feature).
Director Gregory co-wrote the script with Mzwandile Sibanda, and will produce the film alongside Michael Reefer, Guy Routte and Emil Wilbekin.
The producers hope to begin shooting ‘Revolutions Per Minute’ in New York and Paris later this year.
In the meantime, watch the 15-minute prequel: