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Exclusive: Watch 'Prince/William' - The Short Film That Led To 'Welcome To Pine Hill'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 27, 2013 2:21 PM
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"Welcome to Pine Hill."

Oscilloscope Laboratories will release Keith Miller's quietly absorbing work of cinema verite, Welcome To Pine Hill, starting on March 1 at IFC in NYC.

The film follows a recently reformed drug dealer, now working as a claims adjuster by day and bouncer by night, who receives some earth-shattering news, forcing him to make peace with himself.

It's a work of art that received enough votes to appear on the S&A Best of 2012 list, a film that blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction, presenting an atmospheric depiction of a journey to self-discovery and spiritual redemption, taken by an unlikely cinematic lead character - a lonely, single, relatively quiet black male in his 20s, who cuts an imposing figure, but who carries himself with a tenderness you wouldn't usually see in depictions of black men on screen.

In our review of it, we called it, the "un-urban," "urban" film, with a lead character that Hollywood wouldn't know what to do with.

Made in collaboration with the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, a group which writer/director Miller belongs, the film, a 2011 Independent Filmmaker Lab participant, World Premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival last year, where it won the Grand Jury Award.

What may not be as widely-known is that the narrative, inspired by a chance encounter between director Miller and the film's star Shannon Harper, who found themselves fighting over a lost dog one night in Brooklyn, NY, has its beginnings in a short film, titled Prince/William, before it was expanded into the feature film we know as Welcome To Pinehill.

S&A has been granted an exclusive look at that short film, Prince/William, which you're encouraged to watch in full below. At the very least, it gives you a glimpse at the style in which the feature film is made, as well as the star of the feature film, Shannon Harper, playing opposite the director himself.

It's just under 8 minutes long:

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