A Storybook Ending

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: Narrative Short
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Post-Production


A Storybook Ending unfolds through shifting time frames, exploring contemporary race relations experienced by multiple characters whose lives intersect thanks to a single, life-changing event.


A multi-perspective drama told in shifting time frames. The central event occurs when Wale, an African-American martial arts student, accidentally kills a white cop who has mistaken him for someone else. Wale escapes the scene, but he’s been spotted and must figure out what he needs to do next.


“It is not necessary that you believe that the officer who choked Eric Garner set out that day to destroy a body. All you need to understand is that the officer carries with him the power of the American state and the weight of an American legacy, and they necessitate that of the bodies destroyed every year, some wild and disproportionate number of them will be black.” –Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Letter to My Son,” The Atlantic For many in the black community, it appears that no matter your socioeconomic background, there is a significantly higher chance that you will be mistreated by the police than a white person. This idea was caught on camera back in 2015 when James Blake, a former African-American tennis star, was standing in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. For no apparent reason and without ever announcing himself, a plainclothes police officer violently tackled Mr. Blake to the ground as he was waiting for a car to pick him up for the U.S. Open tennis tournament. For many within the community, this incident further solidified mistrust of the police. For me, it had a different effect. As a 6’2, 230lbs African-American man who happens to be a former Division I college wrestler with an extensive martial arts background, it lead me to ask: what if? What if this had happened to me? What if I had fought back? What if it was nighttime? What if no one was around? What if I accidentally killed the cop? What if I ran away in a panic? Fortunately, I never had to make this choice, but the main character in this film, Wale, does. A Storybook Ending draws upon the stylized visual touches of neo-noir cinema while avoiding the stylized acting that often accompanies such films. I want naturalistic, honest performances like in Annie Hall. Tonally, the film will be a collision of different ideas. The art direction will be highly stylized - with low key lighting throughout the film – similar to Drive.


Lanre Olabisi - Writer/Director/Producer
Lanre Olabisi is a writer/director whose first feature film August the First, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and played at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. During its run, it screened in over 35 international film festivals, garnering a nomination for an IFP Gotham Award and winning the top prize in six festivals. It is currently distributed in by Film Movement and can be seen on Netflix and Amazon. His second feature film Somewhere in the Middle screened at over 25 international festivals winning four top prizes and was also nominated for a Black Reel Award. It was also picked up by Film Movement and can be seen on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes. In 2011, Lanre was one of 25 filmmakers selected by IFP and the Film Society of Lincoln Center to participate in the “Emerging Visions” Program. Lanre has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the Urban Artists Initiative.

Gabriel Sedgwick - Producer
Gabriel Sedgwick hails from Sweden but works as a producer in Brooklyn, NY where he is Head of Production at Hard Working Movies. He is a National Board of Review fellow, a Berlin Film Festival Talents alumni, an Anders Sandrew grantee, and produced Lanre Olabisi's directorial debut August the First. He recently co-produced Jeremiah Zagar's feature-length documentary "CAPTIVATED The Trials of Pamela Smart" which premiered in competition at Sundance 2014 and has been shown on HBO in the US and on Sky Atlantic in the UK.


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