Multi-award-winning short film, Silent Partner, that explores systemic racism’s effect on Black mental health will be shown at the TCL Chinese Theatres on Sat., June 11, at 12:30pm, as part of the 25th Anniversary of Dances with Films:LA (DWF:LA). The original story was created by Roderick Lawrence (Disney’s The Lion King), who stars in the film alongside 2022 Tony Nominee Kara Young (Clyde’s), written/directed by 2019 Sundance Feature Film Fellow Aristotle Torres (Story Ave), and lensed by LA resident Eric Branco (Clemency; The Forty-Year-Old Version).
Silent Partner centers around as Silas Jones, an accomplished Black trial attorney who successfully defends a white woman who murdered a Black teen. The film, which also features Emmy-award-winner Michael Park (Dear Evan Hansen), explores microaggressions in the workplace and the toll it takes on one’s mental health and family. Appearing in film festivals from the East to the West Coast and taking audiences through a range of emotions along the way since its premiere at the Run&Shoot Filmworks Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival, Silent Partner has been highly acclaimed, winning Best Short Film and Best Director Awards at numerous festivals. The film has earned 12 official festival selections to date, including 3 Oscar-qualifying festival selections.
Lawrence has performed across the country and on many New York and LA stages. Co-Founder of Black Man Films, he is an unapologetic Blacktivist, who helped start many Black Lives Matter initiatives in the Broadway and acting communities. A 2020 AUDELCO nominee, his credits include Simba in Disney’s The Lion King National Tour, Ramses in the Broadway-bound The Prince of Egypt, Othello in John Leguizamo’s Othello: The Remix, BeBe Winans in Born for This: The Musical, and Floyd Barton in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars.
Young, a 2022 Tony Nominee for her Broadway debut in Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s, starred in Hair Wolf, Sundance 2018 Short Film Jury Award Winner, and in the MCC Theater’s All the Natalie Portmans, for which she received a Lucille Lortel Award Nomination. She can next be seen recurring on the HBO Max original The Staircase and is a series regular in Boots Riley’s Amazon series, I am a Virgo.
Torres is a writer / director from The Bronx, NYC. He has built a career directing music videos, experimenting with photography, and telling award-winning stories. He most recently directed, wrote and produced branded content for a global Starbucks campaign and was chosen as a Sundance Film Festival 2019 Feature Film Fellow, developing his debut feature film, Story Ave, which begins production in 2022 and stars Luis Guzmán, with Jamie Foxx and Datari Turner producing.
LA resident Branco lensed Clemency (dir. Chinonye Chukwu), 2019 Sundance Grand Jury Prize; The Forty-Year-Old Version (dir. Radha Blank), 2020 Sundance Best Narrative Directing Winner; and The Compositor (dir. John Mattiuzzi), Student Academy Award Winner. He was named one of Variety’s “10 Cinematographers to Watch” 2019 and one of American Cinematographer’s “Rising Stars of Cinematography” 2020.
Silent Partner is produced by Salma Qarnain (That Damn Michael Che), executive produced by Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes (Founding Director of The Center for Racial Justice and Associate Dean at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy) and Rejji Hayes, and co-produced by Tony and Emmy winners Eric Nelsen (1883, Inheritance), Sainty Nelsen (Inheritance), and Jim Kierstead (Inheritance).
Recently selected by USA Today as one of the top 10 film festivals in North America, the dedicated team behind DWF:LA are constantly looking for the best in emerging talent with unique visions and storytelling. DWF:LA is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the United States and remains dedicated to creating opportunities and launching careers of exceptionally talented artists based on their talent alone. DWF:LA has cultivated a vibrant community of loyal filmmakers and alumni which includes such notables such as: Bryan Cranston (2000); Gina Rodriguez (2010); Jesse Eisenberg (2007); Ellen Pompeo (2003); Ryan Eggold (2010) and John Hawkes (2003) – are just a handful of examples of DWF: LA’s family. In a world of homogenized, formulaic film festivals, DWF continues to defy the rules.
Link to ticketing: TCL Chinese Theatres on Sat., June 11, at 12:30pm
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