“When you’re born in prison you don’t know what to do when free.” Malik Vitthal’s debut feature ‘Imperial Dreams,’ based on a true story, tells the story of a 21-year-old reformed gangster’s devotion to his family and future as he seeks a better life for himself and his son when he’s released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in the crime-ridden Imperial Courts housing projects of Watts, Los Angeles.
“The hood is the cruelest of prisons, most unusual punishments.” Bambi (John Boyega), recently released from prison is determined to live an ethical lifestyle for his young son Day (Ethan and Justin Coach). As he struggles to find work, he attempts to make a living as a writer, finding solace in his words to distract him from illegal persuasions of his past. “I’m trying to be a writer, teach these kids not to make the same mistakes I did.”
“I’m running out of options out here.” Badgered by his Uncle Shrimp (Glenn Plummer), Bambi is kicked out of the house unless he makes a drug run to Portland. With nowhere to live, he is forced to live with his son in his car in a vacant parking lot. Bambi is stalked by detectives Gill (Sufe Bradshaw) and Hernandez (Maximiliano Hernandez), who are eager to pounce and arrest him after any misstep.
With a cast that includes: John Boyega, Rotimi Akinosho, Glenn Plummer, Keke Palmer, De’aundre Bonds, Justin and Ethan Coach, ‘Imperial Dreams’ had its world premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Audience Award at the festival and screened at the New Voices in Black Cinema Festival in Brooklyn, NY, in April 2016.
Source: IMDb, YouTube