Hallelujah Traumedy Makes World Premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2022
Reporter: LaKisa Renee
After being stuck with the guardianship of their annoying, bookworm nephew, two brothers in Compton, California, have to decide if they are willing to take on the responsibility of being caretakers. The film is written and directed by Victor Gabriel and produced by Duran Jones. The talented cast included: Bruce A. Lemon (Host of KPCC-FM’s UnheardLA), Richard Nevels (Insecure), Stephen Laroy Thomas, Mariah Pharms (Double Cross), Damon Rutledge (Head of Passes), and Maelina Gibson (Don’t Judge Me).
During a season of extreme gun violence in Compton CA, a precocious book thief, who hears the voices of his dead parents, discovers that a novel belonging to his family is being auctioned off and with the help of the neighborhood matriarch, a 100 year old black woman, he concocts a plan to steal it back. What follows is a hilarious, moving journey of a black boy learning to grieve and finding the will to continue living. Cultured Focus met with Director Victor Gabriel and Duran Jones on their inspiration for the film, misperceptions about black men, the black village of support that comes together during tragedies to support each other, and their upcoming projects. See the full interview below.
Director’s Bio | Victor Gabriel's 'Hallelujah' Short Film
Growing up in poverty, Victor Gabriel realized that water in cornflakes doesn't taste as bad as you think it would. He wandered without a home before eventually ending up in Compton, CA. Now as a black male writer/director and recent MFA graduate of AFI Conservatory, he has turned to filmmaking as way for him to wrestle with his own suffering as well as the suffering of others. He holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and has been working as a Marriage and Family Therapist with survivors of trauma in Compton/Watts/South Central for the past several years. His short film BLACK BOYS CAN’T CRY won the Social Impact Award at the Hollyshorts Film Festival and is currently being shown in others. His favorite movie is Richard Donner’s Superman. He likes Red Vines and thinks Twizzlers are trash. BIG FACTS.
Producer | Duran Jones of BLK MGC
HALLELUJAH Producer and BLK MGC Content principal Duran Jones named his company afterhis first short film BLKMGC, an urban musical based on the shooting death of Tamir Rice at thehands of police. Now a Producing Fellow at the American Film Institute Conservatory, Jones’goal is to tell stories for people of color that are truthful and impact the global community. A frequent collaborator with Gabriel, Duran was also selected as a 2021 Sundance Feature Film Producers Lab Fellow with Gabriel’s script "The Incredible Heist of Hallelujah Jones."
When: On-demand from 8:00AM MST, Thursday, January 20th through 10:59PM MST, Saturday, January 30th, 2022.