Written by Jimmysodope
The last movie that premiered by the Halls Mills Network was the high energy dance film “Lit”. Not only was the “Lit” movie premier at CityPlex 12 was sold out, the movie went on win “Best Feature Film” from Hollywood Urban South Film Festival and “Best Indie Feature” in the Vegas Movie Awards. I spoke to director Jamal Hall about how it feels to have another sold out premier evening with “A Fathers Pride”
“It feels good. Our 1st film “Live With No Regrets” was screened at the AMC theater & had a good turn out but to come from that and to keep it going, especially during a pandemic, we really appreciate the support.”
The premier essentially had two components, the actual screening of “A Fathers Pride” the mix & mingle which functioned like a meet and greet. Taking place in the atrium of the theater, the moments before and after the movie played allowed the audience to meet cast members, photos were captured on the red carpet and an abundance of networking opportunities. As the cameras flashed I caught up with the film’s writer and co director, J Burroughs, he shared what he’s most proud of when it comes to “A Fathers Pride”?
“The way the team brought everything together. There’s no small roles in putting this all together. We had fun filming. And it’s amazing to see and share something that was inside of my head. Y’all get to feel the vibe and all the emotions and energy. Working with this great cast and the way it was shot.”
The mix & mingle was a huge success. To see all of those brilliant, smiling brown faces would be enough to make Spike Lee proud any day of the week. A Fathers Pride didn’t disappoint on the big screen either. What really captured me was that quite a few of the cast members made their acting debut with this movie. R&B singer and entrepreneur Lea Robinson spoke on the importance of her 1st movie role and the message her character Goldie portrayed.
“The best story tellers are the ones that are truthful. It felt really dope to tap into someone else’s life because these are things that people are actually going through. To be able to channel a whole emotion that I’ve never felt. It’s so important for black families especially with mental health being popular right now. It’s important for us to express ourselves and be open and be vulnerable about what’s going on in our lives. We suppress a lot of things as black people. It’s just now becoming cool to speak about mental health, going to therapy and seeking help.”
The film hit a few pain points. It touched on religion, family feuds, black on black violence, HIV and so much more. Ironically, the mix & mingle portion of the night showed that the solution to some of these problems could be as simple as black folk coming together to celebrate each other. I asked filmmaker Roc Davis about the importance of mentorship and the roles of men in today’s society.
“My father was a stay at home pops. My mom went to work everyday. My father was in. My life everyday. I learned film making from my father. So mentorship is very important. And the world is upside down. They try to eliminate us with all the stuff going on. So we gotta pull together. The men gotta run it. We gotta get back on our stuff and make it right. The women have been out here holding it down. The fathers have been kinda absent. We got some great brothers out here so I’m not saying it’s all but that’s just me being honest as a man and a father.”
If you missed the premier don’t worry, A Fathers Pride will be screening March 20th at CityPlex12 In Newark, NJ. Click the link below for movie times & tickets.