Scanning through the press release announcing the 8 feature projects selected for the 2012 Film Independent 12th Annual Producing Lab... I came across this one...
Titled Imperial Dreams, it's being produced by the same filmmaker (Katherine Fairfax Wright), who co-directed, edited, and shot the acclaimed documentary Call Me Kuchu (the powerful and moving film that follows the daily life of David Kato – the first openly gay Ugandan man), which has taken up a lot of pixels on this site in the last year.
The synopsis for Imperial Dreams, which is actually a scripted work of fiction, and is now begining its journey through production, follows:
Inspired by true events and starring the real people whose story it tells, Imperial Dreams centers on two lifelong friends - exceptional young black men - from the Imperial Courts housing projects in Watts, Los Angeles who are each chasing their own version of the American Dream. A street-smart Bambi is fresh off a twenty-two month jail stint for gang activity and is suddenly in the position of being a single parent to his two-year old son. In an effort to get his life back together for the sake of his child, his desires are simple: get on a legit payroll, and get off parole. On the other hand, his best friend and cousin, a book-smart kid named Shawn, only has lofty business goals on his mind. He even dresses the part, putting on a second-hand suit every day in the hopes that someone will listen to his idea to revolutionize the mass transit system in Los Angeles. Both men face challenges, but their relationship is really put to the test when Bambi must choose between honoring his commitment to his son or helping Shawn, who is tempted by the local gang’s promises of easy money to help jump-start his dream.
A lot to interpret there without lots actually being said.
Katherine Fairfax Wright will produce the film, while Malik Vitthal will make his feature film directorial debut from a script he co-wrote with Ismet Prcic.
Further digging revealed that Imperial Dreams has been in development for at least 2 years now; it was selected as a 2011 Sundance Screenwriters Lab participant.
Here's Malik Vitthal's bio:
Needless to say, this is a project we'll be watching henceforth, as it progresses.
By the way, you can check out Malik's video blogs, which he recorded during his trips on the 2009 international film festival circuit, with his short film Watts and Volts.
Here's one of them: