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Caesar Winslow has 72 hours to get his act together.
The Brooklyn teen is given a warning by an administrator at his new school in a tense meeting that’s the subject of the below exclusive clip from 72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story?, which is set to get its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
In the clip, Caesar (Melvin Mogoli) meets the school official at a mixer, where she indicates that he’d said he’d be there last week and on other previous dates only to fail to show up. She points out that they gave him a scholarship and a bereavement pass to deal with the death of his Uncle Terry, who Caesar says convinced him to apply.
“We’re more than happy to save you a place in the incoming class but if you’re not in the system by Monday, your scholarship, your stipend, they’re kaput,” she tells him.
72 Hours follows 18-year-old Caesar on the weekend before he leaves to attend a prestigious university, as he deals with being dumped by his girlfriend and local teens lining up to replace him as the leader of his Brooklyn crew. The school meeting kicks off the movie’s coming-of-age story.
The movie is based on a short film created by Bilal Ngondo, a student at Reel Works, a New York City organization teaching inner-city kids filmmaking skills.
Director Raafi Rivero explained how he transformed Ngondo’s short into the feature.
“Bilal Ngondo had created a story rarely seen onscreen — a realistic look at Brooklyn today and an original story about young love over a single weekend. Through a process of interviews, dramaturgy and mentoring teens at Reel Works, we retained the DNA fingerprint of Bilal’s short while creatively expanding the story and characters,” Rivero says. “I’m very proud of the fact that the story retains the spirit of the underlying material, yet we were able to give the actors freedom to create original characters germane only to the screenplay itself. It was crucial for our team to get out and show off parts of Brooklyn that are hiding in plain sight: the parkways, and public housing, sneaker lines and Jamaican patties. I’m excited that the beautiful world these teens inhabit, its accents and authenticity, can gain wider recognition through this project.”
72 Hours will get its world premiere on June 2 at the L.A. Film Festival.
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Sterling K. Brown