The 2016 Sundance Film Festival offered a pretty stellar lineup this year, and I managed to catch a lot of incredible flicks during my time in Utah, including Swiss Army Man, Green Room and Operation Avalanche. But one film I missed was Morris From America, writer/director Chad Hartigan’s coming-of-age tale about 13-year-old Morris Gentry (Markees Christmas), who moves to Germany with his father (Craig Robinson) and has designs on becoming a hip-hop star.
The film was showered with praise during its Sundance run, taking home the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and nabbing Robinson a Special Jury Award for Acting, and it didn’t take long for A24 to scoop up the distribution rights. Now the film is slated to hit DirecTV in a timed exclusive release this summer, before rolling out to theaters in August.
Check out the official trailer for Morris From America.
This looks like a tremendous amount of fun – it reminds me a lot of Dope, which is another Sundance breakout that I really loved. It should be interesting to see Robinson shed his funnyman persona for something a little more dramatic and nuanced, but Christmas promises to be the real draw here – even in this brief trailer, it’s obvious he’s been blessed with a ton of charisma. And Morris From America comes with the added bonus of Carla Juri, whose absolutely fearless performance in Wetlands catapulted her to the top of my list of bold new cinematic talents.
With a history of positive buzz and a solid cast, I was already excited for Morris From America, and the trailer only served to reinforce that enthusiasm. Luckily, the wait is almost over – Morris From America hits DirecTV on July 7, followed by a limited theatrical release on August 19.
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