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Trailer Watch: A.V. Rockwell’s A Thousand and One

Featured on our 25 New Faces of Independent Film list in 2019, A.V. Rockwell‘s directorial debut A Thousand and One is set to hit theaters next month. The film had its world premiere at Sundance in January, where it won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize.

Teyana Taylor stars as Inez, a single mom whose first objective after being released from Rikers is reuniting with her six-year-old son Terry, who has been placed in the foster care system. With no legal alternatives, Inez kidnaps Terry and utilizes her Harlem-based support system to lay low and begin anew. Over a decade later, Terry has grown into a precocious and shy teenage boy (Josiah Cross), but the life that he and his mother built threatens to unravel with each passing day.

The film takes place between two decades—the 1990s and 2000s—and the landscape of Harlem and New York itself grows and changes with the characters, particularly as Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg enact devastating policies for the city’s most vulnerable populations.

“I was drawn to Harlem as a character and how gentrification was also an antagonist,” DP Eric Yue told us in an interview out of Sundance. “I wanted to articulate that feeling while also creating a look that felt naturalistic and real.”

Focus Features will release A Thousand and One theatrically on March 31.

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