Danielle Macdonald Patti Cake$
Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay
Director: Geremy Jasper
Running Time: 98 minutes
Synopsis: Patti Cake$ introduces Australian actress Danielle Macdonald in a breakout role, as aspiring rapper Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$. Fighting an unlikely quest for glory in her downtrodden hometown in Jersey where her life is falling apart, Patti tries to reach the big time in the hip hop scene with original and affecting music. Cheered on by her grandmother (Cathy Moriarty) and only friends, Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay) and Basterd (Mamoudou Athie), Patti also shoulders her mother's (Bridget Everett) heartaches and misfortunes.
Release Date: September 14th, 2017
About The Production
'Rapping is her secret super power, which we see when her fantasy life is up there on screen." - Director Geremy Jasper
Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, a.k.a. Killa P. (Danielle Macdonald), has had it with life in her rundown New Jersey hometown. At 23, she is ready to hit the road and make a play for the kind of musical immortality that her idol rap god O-Z enjoys. But plain and plussized Patti is stuck at home with her wheelchair-bound grandmother (Cathy Moriarty) and bitter, boozy mother (Bridget Everett). When she gets caught up in a parking-lot freestyle battle and easily demolishes the competition, the thrill of victory makes escape from a lifetime of tending bar and cleaning up other people's messes seem possible " and Patti will do whatever it takes to grab onto her dream. With the help of her best friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), mysterious musician Basterd (Mamoudou Athie) and her loving Nana, she leads a charge against the army of haters, unpaid bills and broken dreams that are holding her back. An origin story for an imaginary hip-hop heroine who deserves to exist, Patti Cake$ deftly straddles the line between fantasy and reality " just like Patti herself.
One of the most anticipated movies at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Patti Cake$ has its roots in writer and director Geremy Jasper's post-college years, a time when he was living in his parents' home, helping to care for an ailing grandparent and scraping by on a series of demoralising food-service gigs. His own sense that life was speeding past him informs the story of Patti Cake$, an aspiring rapper trapped in a small New Jersey town filled with the low-end shopping centers, fast food restaurants, and highway on-ramps that stand between her and her dreams of big-city stardom.
Patti, Geremy Jasper says, is a contemporary, female version of his younger self. 'Growing up in New Jersey, I had this Springsteen-esque angst to get out," he explains. 'Patti could be my sister. In the film, she is going through what I was going through when I was 23. I took those experiences and combined them with my lifelong obsession with rap music and my admiration for the big, tough, strong women that raised me and created what I think is a larger-than-life Jersey Girl who is not quite like anyone you've ever met. I wanted to create a tribute to the women in my life as well as Jersey."
Danielle Macdonald's character is also conjured from the teenage girls who played basketball for Jasper-s dad, a legendarily successful high school coach. 'They could kick the boys' asses on the court," he says. 'They were larger than life and there was something subversive about it. I thought an overweight, white girl from suburban Jersey went against the norms of what a hip-hop artist could be. That was really interesting to me."
Patti is living with her mother Barb, who drinks too much and leaves Patti with too much responsibility for her ailing Nana, as well as keeping the family afloat financially. 'They're stuck in this house together and Patti really wants to leave but she can't," explains Geremy Jasper. 'She hangs out with her best friend, Jheri, who's her biggest fan and hype man. She wants to rap and he is an R&B crooner. They dream their lives away."
Patti's rich inner life is depicted in hallucinatory sequences that turn classic hip-hop tropes into surreal dreams. Geremy Jasper admits to his own musical aspirations as founder of the indie band The Fever. 'I dreamed of meeting Bob Dylan every night," he says. 'We'd be hanging out and playing music together and he would mumble some sort of wisdom to me. Then I would wake up and be living in my parents' basement."
But hip hop was Geremy Jasper's first musical love. At nine years old, he heard his first RunDMC track and was hooked. He began writing his own raps with a friend and performing at local talent shows. 'In some ways, this movie was an excuse for me to write rap music again," he says. 'I didn't have an outlet for that for years until the idea of Patricia Dombrowski blossomed in my brain. Then I thought, Ah! I have all this material. I can actually channel it into something."
For Geremy Jasper, the appeal of rap is its ability to transform limitations into assets. 'Rappers take the crappy circumstances of their lives and make them mythological," explains the filmmaker. 'Places like Queensbridge or Compton or Lodi, New Jersey, become bold and colorful and interesting, instead of drab and mundane. Through the rhymes, artists show different sides of their personalities " in Patti's case, her sense of humor, her bravery and her balls."
Geremy Jasper's interest in filmmaking was sparked by friend and fellow Wesleyan alumnus Benh Zeitlin, who made the arthouse hit Beasts Of The Southern Wild. With Benh Zeitlin's encouragement, Geremy Jasper banged out the first draft of his first screenplay in 19 feverish days and submitted it to the prestigious Sundance Screenwriters Lab. To his surprise, he was selected to work with mentors including Quentin Tarantino and Joan Tewkesbury, and his script began to take shape, relying less on fantasy and more on character development.
'The project really took off when we went to the Sundance Lab," says producer Michael Gottwald. A member of Department of Motion Pictures along with producers Dan Janvey and Noah Stahl, they have a history that involve field organizing and digital work on the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns, and running the Court 13 collective with Benh Zeitlin. The group has been making movies together since 2007. 'The character of Patti changed a great deal. She went from very broad and jokey to something much more personal and intimate. She became someone you could really root for. It's a classic story, but at the same time, you haven't seen it before, certainly not told this way." After completing the script, Geremy Jasper was one of eight filmmakers invited to participate in the month-long Sundance Institute Directors Lab, where he would rehearse, shoot, and edit key scenes under the guidance of seasoned filmmakers.
Producer Noah Stahl describes Patti Cake$ as a musical, a drama, an underdog tale and a coming-of-age story all rolled into one. 'The movie has some really emotional aspects to it, but it's also got a lot of levity, fun, some weirdness and really colorful characters," he observes. 'It's a little bit difficult to fit it into a box, which is one of the things that we were most excited about."
Jersey Girls and Boys
To play the one-of-a-kind title role, the filmmakers knew they needed to find an actress with a particular look and the ability to bring the character's vulnerability and grit to the screen. 'Patti is rock-hard on the outside and she curses like a sailor, but, underneath it all, she's just protecting herself," Geremy Jasper adds. 'She really has a poet's sensitivity. She has something to express that her situation is preventing her from sharing."
The director knew he was not looking for a typical starlet or for anyone the audience might be familiar with. 'I had a very clear idea of who she was," says Geremy Jasper. 'There aren't a lot of films that put a spotlight on someone like Patti. She might figure in as the funny best friend or some kind of comic relief, but here she carries the picture."
With the Sundance Institute Directors Lab approaching quickly, producer Stahl had an idea. He remembered an actress he had seen in a small role in Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling's corporate-espionage thriller The East, and suggested Jasper meet with her. On paper, Danielle Macdonald was not an obvious contender. First of all, she's Australian and had never attempted a New Jersey accent before. Perhaps more importantly, she had no musical experience at all. But Jasper says he knew instantly she was the right actress for the role. 'I didn't know if she could act," the director recalls. 'I didn't know if she could rap. But that was the face that had been in my head the entire time. She looked like a young girl, but she also had this toughness to her. I knew that I wanted to watch that face."
No one could have been more doubtful about the casting than Danielle Macdonald herself. 'I read the script and thought, what on earth makes them think I can do this?" she says. 'It was just so different from anything I'd ever done. It's so different from who I am, but it sounded terrifying and really cool. I went to Utah for the Labs and we were able to figure out the character and hone the script. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life."
Burdened at home with the care of her ill Nana and caustic mother Barb, cruelly mocked by the locals and burdened with far too much responsibility at a young age, Patti could easily give up her dreams and become another lost soul, but she refuses. 'The movie is about an unlikely heroine who is just trying to navigate life," Danielle Macdonald says. 'It's a coming-of-age story about following your dreams, finding your passion and inner confidence, and not stopping when people tell you no. Patti feels like she has something to say. It's not easy to do and she gets beaten down in every possible way. But that just forces her to be true to herself. She has to dig deep into her anger and despair and passion to make it real."
Selecting an Australian actress with no rapping experience as a blue-collar New Jersey hip-hop queen was not the only unusual choice Jasper made. To cast Patti's confidante and partner-in-crime Jheri, a young pharmacist by day and R&B crooner after hours, the filmmaker stumbled upon videos by 'Dhananjay the First" on WorldStarHipHop, on which aspiring performers can post their own videos. In those videos he watched a South Asian college student remixing R&B classics like Destiny's Child's 'Say My Name," dressed in do-rags and oversized jerseys, smoking Newports and counting wads of cash. It seemed like Jheri already existed. Jasper tracked down the performer, whose full name is Siddharth Dhananjay, at Grinnell College in Iowa. He and his friends had been making spoof rap videos as a lark. 'We would take the beat, write our own lyrics to them and make these crazy videos," Siddharth Dhananjay says. 'We were just doing it for fun, and then I got an email one day from Michael Gottwald asking if I wanted to be a part of this movie."
Siddharth Dhananjay is actually very much like Jheri, says Geremy Jasper. 'His performance feels sincere. There's a genuine joy to how they both experience life and it's infectious."
Siddharth Dhananjay, too, was astonished by the similarities between Jheri and the hip-hop alter ego he had created for himself in the homemade videos. 'We came up with the idea separately, but it's like they share the same soul," he marvels. 'Jheri is the more realistic, human side of my ridiculous character. That was interesting for me. I knew how to be this crazy, flamboyant, big character, but having to find the person behind all that was really fun."
Under all his bluster, Jheri is really a sweetheart, the actor says. 'He's just a normal kid who works at a drugstore, but he has these crazy dreams of doing something bigger, better, and more fun with his life. And he loves Patti. He's her best friend, but he's also her life coach and her No. 1 fan. He thinks Patti Cake$ is the most badass chick of all time. She's the sweetest girl with her friends, but watch out if you're her enemy. She's larger than life, and she's got so much heart. People fall in love with her when they watch her on screen."
Patti's dreams of becoming a global superstar come one step closer to reality when she and Jheri meet punk rocker Basterd the Anti-Christ playing at the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Hall. 'Basterd is the classic suburban Goth kid," says Jasper. 'He wants to take down the government, doesn't want anything to do with his parents and lives in a shack in the woods cut off from society. He also has a sophisticated recording set-up stashed there. Basterd is the only person Patti has ever met who seems like a genuine artist. He's obviously wearing a mask and a costume, but there's something poetic about him."
Casting directors Jessica Kelly and Rebecca Dealy brought in Mamoudou Athie to meet with Jasper about the role. A Yale-trained actor, he seemed the antithesis of the character to the director. 'He was clearly really sharp, but he is so different from Basterd when you meet him," says Geremy Jasper. 'He was very preppy and I just didn't see it. But he brought real depth and authenticity to a far-out character. He's an actor with a capital A and we were so lucky to get him."
Mamoudou Athie says he had his doubts about the project when he was asked to audition. 'I read the sides and saw he was referring to himself as the Anti-Christ," he recalls. 'I thought, no thank you. I don't want to put that into the world. But when I read it, I saw that was not all the part was. He is actually one of the most interesting characters I've played."
Estranged from his family, Basterd lives alone and has been making music by himself until he meets Patti and Jheri. 'He loves music; he loves creating," says Mamoudou Athie. 'Basterd is a very sensitive soul. I thought of him as kind of an open wound. He needs to protect himself from a world he finds brutal."
Patti seems to be the first person he has let into his life in a while. 'I think they recognize something in each other," Mamoudou Athie says. 'It's the pain that they go through just living. Patti's situation is really awful, but she handles it like a champ. They're also both really, really committed to this dream they have of making music."
With few lines, Mamoudou Athie manages to communicate all of that emotion with just his presence, says Stahl. 'His performance is a physical expression of his character as opposed to a lot of words. Mamoudou Athie is the kind of actor that can make you wonder what's going on inside his head when he's saying nothing."
Gottwald agrees: 'There was kind of a stillness and sturdiness to his performance. It's a nice balance with Siddharth, who had never really acted before, so he's a lot rawer. Mamoudou was a kind of anchor for him."
Patti's mother Barb is an intimidating force both physically and emotionally and she had to be played by someone who could hold her own with Danielle Macdonald, says Geremy Jasper. 'I was looking for an actress for whom balls-to-the-wall performance comes naturally, who pushes boundaries and has a tongue as razor-edged as Patti's," says Geremy Jasper. 'And like Patti, I didn't want to see her played by anyone the audience was familiar with. I wanted someone who looked like the women that I grew up around. I just happened to see Bridget Everett performing on -Inside Amy Schumer', and I immediately said, that's Barb. She had the musicality and the physicality I was looking for. She is a big, sexy woman with a sense of both darkness and beauty. But I didn't know if she had the acting ability for such a demanding role."
Everett, a singer and comedian notorious for her fearless and uninhibited original performances, has been a favorite on the New York cabaret scene for years, but this would be her first dramatic role. 'Geremy Jasper said he was looking for an unruly sex bomb with a voice of an angel," remembers Bridget Everett. 'I was afraid it would take some dramatic muscle that I didn't think I had, but I went to the Sundance Lab anyway."
Barb had her own rock 'n' roll dreams that were put on hold when she became pregnant with Patti. 'The biggest difference between Patti and her mother is that Patti still has hunger and hope," according to Jasper. 'There's something tragic about Barb. She was part of the late '80s hair-metal scene in Jersey, like Bon Jovi and Skid Row. The glamour and the glory she was chasing are similar to what rappers celebrate: flashy cars, scantily clad women, money and debauchery. But her expiration date has passed and she wasn't able to achieve her dreams. Barb was a really attractive woman with a lot of swagger and strut when she was younger, but the years of drinking and self-destructive behavior have taken that away. For Patti to even have aspirations of making music is enough to throw Barb into a jealous tailspin, but they also share so much. They escape through music."
Bridget Everett poignantly captures Barb's pain and disappointment, as well as the thrill she still gets from singing, even if the venue is a shabby bar and her band is a karaoke machine. 'I love stories that are about big dreams," says Bridge Everett. 'I related to Barb. She always wanted to be a rock star, but then she got knocked up, so now she spends a lot of her time in bars, drinking, singing karaoke and sleeping with the wrong men. Most of my life has been struggling to achieve my dream, so I understand feeling trapped and lonely and desperate. I felt like I wanted to take care of her somehow."
Patti's grandmother brought her up and provided the affection and attention her own mother was unable to give. 'Nana is the classic adoring grandmother, but she's hard as nails," the director says. 'She's got a voice like sandpaper, drinks and smokes too much, and now she's laid up in her La-Z-Boy with a broken hip, watching court shows all day and taking too many Percocets. She couldn't really care less about hip hop or the music world. She likes Dirty Limericks and Virginia Slims, but she provides the emotional stability in Patti's life."
When Geremy Jasper approached veteran actress Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull, The Double) to play the role, he was apprehensive about her possible reaction. 'She's a very glamorous, beautiful woman," he points out. 'I didn't know if she would let us age her 20 years and push her around in a wheelchair. But I had just worked with her on a short film and I knew she would bring so much humor and rawness to the character."
Fortunately, Moriarty loved the script and was not going to let vanity keep her from playing a juicy part like Nana. 'I was actually flattered he thought I could pull this off," the actress says. 'To me, the story is about the three women and how they grow together, grow apart and what happens to them in their lives."
The film also contains small gems of supporting performances, including McCaul Lombardi who says he had always dreamed of playing a rapper and got his wish when he landed the role of Danny Bagadella, the swaggering townie Patti is futilely crushing on. Sahr Ngaujah, best known for playing Fela Kuti in the five-year run of 'Fela!" on Broadway, plays Patti's idol, hip-hop impresario O-Z, with quiet authority. And Nick Sandow, known to 'Orange is the New Black" fans as prison warden Joe Caputo, plays Danielle's catering boss.
The filmmakers cast real-life rappers including the legendary MC Lyte, who paved the way for a generation of female MC's, as the fairy-godmother-like character of DJ French Tips. Rising New York hip-hop artist Kirk Knight, and Anthony Ramos, best known for playing both John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the original Broadway cast of 'Hamilton," play rapper Nomad and his producer, Swisha, respectively. The part of strip club-owner Benzo was written for rap star Action Bronson's sidekick Big Body Bes. Other area rappers, including Bishop Nehru and Aaron Rose, appear or contribute songs to the soundtrack, and O-Z protégé Yung Nurple is played by renowned rapper and writer Skyler 'Skyzoo" Taylor, who also served as Macdonald's movement coach.
Straight Out Of Jersey
Patti Cake$ is one of a long line of creative souls who grew up on the wrong side of the Hudson River longing for the buzz of the big city, a tradition that includes musicians from Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith to Frank Sinatra and rapper Fetty Wap. Recreating New Jersey's unique sense of place with authentic details was extremely important to the director, who even took his cast and crew on a guided tour of his old stomping grounds.
'Understanding the specifics of the setting is essential to the story, even though the characters and their emotional journey are universal," Geremy Jasper says. 'I wanted them to experience it first hand, so they would see how much more New Jersey is than just a national punch line or a backdrop for mob politics that often shows up on screen. Making the film allowed all of us to see these everyday people and places, all the things I wanted to run from as a kid, as something beautiful and valuable."
Multiple locations, grueling hours, weather issues and crowds of background players to be wrangled complicated the ambitious shooting schedule, according to producer Noah Stahl. 'There are a lot of scenes and a lot of different settings, which means a lot of details to manage," he says. 'Almost every day we had a new location, from a quintessential New Jersey diner to the small town VFW hall, as well as a strip club, an abandoned shack, a cemetery and even a mansion in Alpine. Geremy Jasper was meticulous about everything, which allowed us to pack each day to the fullest."
Director of photography Federico Cesca prioritized making Patti's New Jersey colorful, alive and filled with dynamic energy. Excited by the potential for visual experimentation in the fantasy sequences, he helped conceive the film's opening scene, a dreamlike tableau bathed in psychedelic green light, as Patti imagines what her life will be like once she escapes the narrow confines of her hometown and becomes superstar Killa P.
'For the look of the film, I wanted two separate worlds," says Geremy Jasper. 'Patti's day-to-day existence has a raw, almost vérité documentary style. I wanted it to feel like we were experiencing Patti's life through her eyes. When we go into her fantasy life, things are much flashier and more colorful and perhaps elegant. Fede stayed open and adventurous. The crew was always hungry for some new breakthrough: a fresh camera angle or a weird wash of color. We experimented constantly and there was genuine joy in the process."
Production designer Meredith Lippincott surprised the director at their first meeting by producing a collection of imagery that drew upon the same sources he was using. To his delight, she had found ways to convey both the joy and the pathos of Patti's existence through locations, sets and props. It was her team that located the 'Patti Wagon," the ancient Caddy she tools around in. (The car stayed in character through the shoot, repeatedly breaking down and amassing some $800 worth of parking tickets.) They built Basterd's cluttered shack in the woods from the ground up, tricking it out with everything from old volumes of Shakespeare and Gray's Anatomy to some of Jasper's own heavy metal records and a mound of old tube TVs and " then perfectly punctured the exterior walls to allow light to stream in for the high-energy music-making scenes. To create the look of Patti's gritty working-class life and her soaring fantasies of fame and fortune, Lippincott drew on influences as far-ranging as classic Roman sculpture and rap album covers and posters.
'Her reality is unglamorous in the extreme," says the production designer. 'Her home pulls a lot from Crewdson, who is known for his journalistic depictions of American suburbia. Geremy Jasper gave me candid family snapshots to use as well. We kept in mind that there are three generations of women in this house, so it includes items are a little antiquated."
Juxtaposed with that hyper-real environment, Patti's fantasies are set in a streamlined, elevated world that reinforces the broad divide between her everyday life and her ambition. Elements of brilliant green" a color not used in the rest of the film " are a direct reference to Dorothy's trip over the rainbow. 'There are very stylized elements in every set," says Lippincott. 'But everything comes from a solid realistic core."
Costume designer Miyako Bellizzi dressed each of the characters with a unique style that offers clues to their personality. A pair of Timberland boots gave Macdonald a new way to carry herself and a greater understanding of Patti. Basterd's all-black skinny-jean ensembles spoke volumes about the character. And the designer went all out establishing a signature look for O-Z that any aspiring superstar would covet.
Patti's dream-world wardrobe is an amped-up version of her real clothing, according to Miyako Bellizzi. 'Finding her character through wardrobe was the most fun part of the job for me," she says. 'We tried to stay as realistic as possible and shopped in places Patti could actually afford. I went to thrift shops all over New Jersey, as well as Penney's and Sears. A lot of her clothes have a sort of '90s feeling because she's immersed in the rap world of that time."
Bellizzi says both she and Jasper are themselves influenced by '90s hip hop. 'Wu Tang Clan, Method Man, that kind of thing, so getting Jehri's costumes right was important to me. His style is probably the most like my own. We made do-rags to match all his outfits and he has the best vintage items. And we got pretty far out with O-Z's jewelry. He has some custom-made items like his pendant and that great grill."
In one of the film's most memorable fantasy sequences, Patti reclines in a bathtub decked out as a mermaid in a music video. 'That was a bit of a feat," Miyako Bellizzi says. 'I really wanted the body of the tail to be shiny and three dimensional, so we tried a few different tactics to achieve that. We went with a gold sequin fabric for the body and a gold lamé with boning for the tail. For the body, we added dimension by spray-painting scales in black to create shadows. Then, because real metal catches the light best on film, I cut out metal sequins and then sewed them on one by one."
Making The Music
While working with his designers in pre-production, Geremy Jasper was also writing and recording the film's original music, compiling an entire album's worth of songs. Some of the beats had been in his head for years, and some lyrics were written when he was Patti's age, but as the script and the character developed, he was constantly making changes.
'It's a massive task to record a whole album in the course of six weeks, while you're also trying meet with your department heads, go over costume choices and finalize production design," says producer Michael Gottwald.
Geremy Jasper continued to rewrite lyrics even during the shoot, inspired by new things Macdonald was discovering in the character. 'Geremy Jasper was reworking as Danielle Macdonald was learning," says Stahl. 'They were both working at such a high level. It put a smile on my face to watch them."
By then, Danielle Macdonald had spent over two years finding Patti's voice. She had moved to the East Coast to prepare for filming and began working with renowned dialect coach Tim Monich, who helped her nail down her Jersey accent and attitude. Rapper Skyzoo served as her hip-hop coach, helping her polish her rhyming, while she and Jasper experimented until they found a voice that was distinctly Patti.
'I don't know if I was more worried about the accent or the rapping," says Danielle Macdonald. 'I think melding them together was the real challenge. I just kept practicing and hoping that the film would get made. It almost became my whole world."
During that time, the director gave the actress a cover song each week to work on, which she would record for him. She was rough around the edges at first, he says, but her dedication proved that she was ready to go for it. 'Danielle Macdonald was really freaked out about rapping. But I preferred casting an actress who could be trained " like you would for the role of an athlete in a sports movie " to a rapper who hadn't acted before and might not be able to find the emotional depth required. We started really simple like Salt-N-Pepa and by the end she was doing the Control verse by Kendrick Lamar. She got better and better and better and better. She approached it like it was Shakespeare and it became second nature."
Being in character made the musical numbers easier for Danielle Macdonald. 'That helped me find the confidence to be able to rap in front of people who really are rappers," she confides. 'And being with the other members of PBNJ made me feel much more relaxed. Sidd especially has the attitude that it's all good. He brought out a whole other side of me."
Seeing the movie for the first time, Danielle Macdonald was apprehensive about a performance that included so many new challenges. 'I hate watching myself on screen, so I was hiding in the back somewhere," she admits. 'But I left feeling completely uplifted. It was so hopeful. This movie inspires you to take chances and not be deterred by people who tell you not to try because you might fail. Everyone feels like they can't do something, but you won't know for sure until you do it anyway."
Back To The Start
Patti Cake$ returned to Park City, Utah for this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it was one of the most buzzed-about features and was in competition for the Grand Jury Prize. Jasper says that as gratifying as that experience was, he is even more excited about having the picture seen by a broad audience. 'Having Fox Searchlight pick it up is a dream come true for me. They've put out some of my favorite movies of all time. I want this movie to go out to small towns across the country and have all the Pattis out there actually see themselves up on the screen."
Geremy Jasper says he thinks of Patti Cake$ as a big juicy love letter to his home state, his family and the creative spirit. 'It's a two-hour valentine to both hip-hop music and the bigmouthed, big-bodied Geremy Jasper women who raised me. It's an emotional call to arms for open hearted, music-obsessed dreamers who give zero f's. It's a film about aching to get out, but being anchored by the weight of reality. It's about the importance of finding a surrogate family of misfits to make music with if that's what you need. It's about all those things and more."
Release Date: September 14th, 2017