A couple of years ago I saw a film at the Sundance Film Festival (where I am right now) called Imperial Dreams. It was a small, urban drama, kind of unassuming, but there was excitement for it because of the star, John Boyega, who was coming off his breakout hit, Attack the Block. The film got solid to good reviews (including from me), and won the NEXT Award at the festival. Then...it just vanished. No distributors picked it up. So what happened?
Well, Star Wars: The Force Awakens happened. J.J. Abrams saw the film, loved Boyega in it, and signed him up to get sabered by Kylo Ren. Without Boyega around to promote the smallish Imperial Dreams, its prospects of getting bought fell to zero. But now Boyega is seriously hot shit, and the film is being put back in front of studio eyeballs.
To help sell the film to distributors, a teaser trailer has been released. Boyega plays Bambi, an ex-con just released from prison who vows to change his ways and stay clean, for the benefit of his young son. But that's not easy living on the streets of Watts, Los Angeles, and the film finds father and son put into some truly heart-breaking predicaments in an effort to stay out of trouble. Malik Vitthal directed the film, and he is also a talent to keep a close watch on.
In my review I said it captures the "cinematic language of Boyz 'n the Hood and Menace II Society" without being beholden to them. Hopefully it's now on the verge of getting picked up because it's long overdue. Every few months I tweet my review so that people don't forget this movie exists. It needs to get out there.
Check out the teaser below.