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AUGUST THE FIRST

Directed by Lanre Olabisi
  • YEAR 6 - FILM 3 / 
  • United States / 
  • 2007 / 
  • English / 
  • 81 min
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"A smart and engaging debut!"
– indieWIRE
"Emotional fireworks that ring true!"
– Variety
"A sharply observed, ultimately heartbreaking story...a fine achievement!"
– Stan Hall, The Oregonian

Synopsis

It is the morning of Tunde's graduation party and things have already begun to unravel. Tunde has managed to alienate his sister, Simisola. His older brother, Ade, persistently plagues him with criticism, and their mother has started drinking again. Unbeknownst to most, Tunde has orchestrated the return of his long estranged father, resurrecting unresolved family anguish against the backdrop of Tunde's celebration. As the day turns to night, old wounds are re-opened and bad habits are revived. Layer by layer, deception and half-truths are peeled away as secrets are uncovered in what will be become the most unforgettable day the family has ever experienced.

MANITO
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Junior Moreno, an ex-convict struggling to get his life back, is a product of that legacy. His brother Manny, the salutatorian of his high school class, embodies hope in the neighborhood. On the night of his graduation party, Manny faces an ill-fated decision that could change his life forever, while Junior tries to prevent his little brother from becoming another casualty. With gritty, luminescent cinematography and unflinching portrayals of characters that embody the heart and soul of the neighborhood, writer/director Eric Eason brings us an electrifying feature debut in the finest tradition of independent filmmaking.
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OT: OUR TOWN
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Against all odds, the first theatrical production in over 20 years at Dominguez High School is going to be Thornton Wilder's American classic “Our Town.” The kids at this Compton school are about to experience more than a culture clash, as they embark on a rich journey and discover the educational and social value of theater. OT: Our Town tells the story of human spirit and its strength against the clichés attempting to hold it down. Where Wilder wrote about little Grover's Corners, this documentary exemplifies how Our Town is every town, Our Town is Compton.
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CHOKING MAN
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Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Golden Globe-nominee Mandy Patinkin (Homeland) star in this heartfelt indie about Jorge (Octavio Gómez Berríos, Crash), a devastatingly shy dishwasher who works in a shabby Queens diner. From his kitchen corner, Jorge has eyes for Amy (Eugenia Yuan, Memoirs of a Geisha), the idealistic new waitress. Tormented by bad-boy coworker Jerry (Paul), who boldly flirts with Amy at every opportunity, Jorge worries his own insecurities will keep him from traversing the gulf between him and the object of his affection. His last chance to win Amy over is in an uncharacteristically grand gesture that may save not only an unsuspecting customer's life, but his own as well.
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ARCADIA
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A coming-of-age story set in a vast, cross-country landscape, Arcadia begins when twelve-year-old Greta's dad Tom (Academy Award nominated actor John Hawkes) wakes her up before dawn and crams her and her two siblings into a dented station wagon. They set off on a 3,000 mile journey from the New England woods to the California desert. On the way, Tom tells enchanting stories, paints pictures of a California paradise, and assures the kids that Mom will soon join them. Greta believes him at first, mesmerized by the strange new scenery and clinging to her stuffed bunny Harrison. Older sister Caroline nonchalantly accepts his stories, more focused on the boyfriend she's leaving behind. And nine-year-old Nat, too young to suspect a thing, is eager to see the epic Grand Canyon. But Tom's mood shifts as often as the landscape outside their window, and the kids soon find themselves in increasingly unpleasant and even dangerous situations. Mom's presence seems to recede further with every mile they travel.
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GRIGRIS
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Despite a bum leg, 25-year-old Grigris has hopes of becoming a professional dancer, making some extra cash putting his killer moves to good use on the dance floor of his local club every weekend. His dreams are tested when his step-father falls critically ill and he's forced to risk his future by smuggling oil to pay the hospital bills. When he befriends Mimi, a beautiful but damaged prostitute, the two will try to start a new life together. But as bad decisions begin to catch up with them, they'll have to run for their lives. Their pasts, however, are never far behind, bringing them to a perilous climax.
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Editorial Reviews

By Eddie Cockrell

Olabisi exhibits a sure hand crosscutting among story threads and has a fine rapport with his ensemble cast. Standouts include newcomer Alsup as the well-meaning Tunde, Green's two-faced Dipo and Merriweather's volatile Rhonda.

 

--Eddie Cockrell/ Variety - Review

A smart and engaging debut, Olabisi's film is notable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it portrays black middle-class Americans in a normal domestic crisis situation sans guns, drugs, dealers or pregnant teens....Olabisi is most definitely a talent to watch and his film shows an adept camera eye and feeling for his subject matter

--IndieWire - Review

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Customer Reviews


Randy Buck - Customer Review
AUGUST THE FIRST is a real pleasure -- sharp writing, sure direction, and compelling acting. The dramatic territory -- a suburban clan's regrets and recriminations over a long day's celebration -- may be familiar, but freshness of observation and intelligence of execution make this picture a winner. Think of it as the perfect antidote to the Tyler Perry infestation at your local multiplex. I'll be eagerly awaiting more from writer/director Lanre Olabisi.


Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review
A nicely executed film with excellent performances and effort by all involved! This film shows the graduation party of one young man who invited his estranged Nigerian father without informing his friends and family of his decision. Apparently, this stirred some negative feelings in all involved. As the film progresses, you'll notice that the decisions were not at all altruistic. See this film and find out for yourself!


Funmi Tofowomo - Customer Review
"Olabisi is a true storyteller....August the First is a delightful film."

Photos

Click photo to enlarge. Then copy as you would any online image.
AUGUST THE FIRST Movie Photo
Dipo (D. Rubin Green) and Tunde (Ian Alsup)
AUGUST THE FIRST Movie Photo
Tunde (Ian Alsup) and Elsa (A. Toni Sterrett)
AUGUST THE FIRST Movie Photo
Rhonda (Joy Merriweather) and Dipo (D. Rubin Green) talking
AUGUST THE FIRST Movie Photo
Director Lanre Olabisi
AUGUST THE FIRST Movie Photo
August the First (hi res)