Film Festival Today

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A Gritty Bronx Tale

Written by: FFT Webmaster | August 2nd, 2011

Debut director Rashaad Ernesto Green pulls no punches with is gritty family drama GUN HILL ROAD which opens this week in limited release via Motion Film Group. The film, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, marks the emergence of a major new talent in American indie cinema. Green, who wrote and directed the film, draws fearless performances from his Latino cast, including Esai Morales, Judy Reyes and newcomer Harmony Santana. The film is explosive stuff……a macho father (Morales) arrives home to his Bronx family after serving a three-year prison sentence to find his complacent wife (Reyes) has forged a new independence and his teenage son (Santana) is going through the early stages of transition to be female.  Drawing on his own transgender experiences, Santana offers a heartrending portrait of a young man who comes into his own only when he accepts his feminine side. Santana can never be the son that his father demands and so must move towards a kind of empowerment of following his/her true nature. Identified now as a female, Santana brings a powerful truth to her performance.


After his success at Sundance, director Green is creating a reputation for himself which the release of GUN HILL ROAD will continue to cement. His 2008 short film PREMATURE won an HBO short-film competition. In 2009, he received a Spike Lee Fellowship and was named one of indieWIRE’s “Ten Exciting New Voices in Black Cinema.” This past year, he made Filmmaker Magazine’s list of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” The feature film has been making the rounds of the summer LGBT film festivals, including serving as the Gala Closing Night Film at last week’s NewFest: The New York Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transsexual Film Festival. However, despite its obvious tie-in with the gay audience, this is a film that transcends that specialized audience in offering a mature portrait of family conflicts and the transcendent power of acceptance that will speak to a broad audience. For more information on the film, visit its website:

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