Akilla’s Escape

Akilla's Escape
Akilla’s Escape

Director: Charles Officer

Canada | 2020 | 90 min

DCG – Craft Award – Directors Guild of Canada

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Akilla Brown’s life has been dictated by his gang involvement. As a teen dealer in Brooklyn and now running his own marijuana operation in Toronto, it’s business as usual until an armed robbery makes a routine deal go sideways. Akilla’s survival skills save his own life while he makes a split-second decision to help one of the teenage thieves, a Jamaican boy named Sheppard. With both of their lives in peril, Sheppard’s nascent role in organized crime forces Akilla to confront his own history, seeing a chance to help the teen boy escape a life he couldn’t. Poet-musician-actor Saul Williams brings a restrained resilience to Akilla’s character, embodying a lifetime of navigating a criminal underworld but never losing his humanity. Weaving a crime thriller with a coming-of-age story, award-winning filmmaker Charles Officer deftly upends genre conventions with this fictional drama that addresses very real cycles of violence that have impacted generations.


Get access to an exclusive Q&A with your ticket:

Host Alex Rogalski (VFF Programmer) talks with director Charles Officer and actors Donisha Prendergast and Thamela Mpumlwana