Entertainment | January 25th, 2019
FAMU Alum Debuts Film in Tallahassee
By: Jakeira Gilbert
Local residents were in for a treat Tuesday night when Florida A&M University alumnus Amir Windom returned to Tallahassee to debut his latest film Canal Street. The movie premiered at the AMC theatre at 8 p.m., and many students, family, friends and moviegoers came out to support the film.
The 2008 public relations graduate served as the film’s executive producer and music supervisor and worked alongside director Rhyan LaMarr and executive producer Kevin Mullens. It is the second film the trio collaborated on following the 2016 faith-based film Restored Me.
Canal Street examines a series of traumatic events that led to a rising African American lawyer from the south side of Chicago (Mykelti Williamson) fighting to prove the innocence of his son, Kholi Styles, after he is accused of killing his White classmate. Styles is played by Empire’s Bryshere Gray.
Even though the film takes place in Chicago, the message of the movie is universal according to Windom.
“We wanted to make sure that this was colorless,” Windom said. “We wanted to make sure that it depicted fathers in general in a loving and compassionate way.”
Executive producer Kevin Mullens added that faith also played a huge role in the film.
“Ultimately, what we really wanted to do is to create authentic stories that are relative to where we live in today’s society,” Mullens said. “And because we’re believers, we wanted to instill that subject matter of faith.
After watching Canal Street, a few members of the audience agreed that it was “an awakening moment.”
“This movie opens up your eyes to different opinions that people have about what’s going on in the world with Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo movement, or white privilege. It’s an awakening moment,” Shareta Barkley said.
Windom wasn’t the only Rattler involved with the film. FAMU alumnus and actor Woody McClain took on one of the lead roles as the long-time friend of Kholi Styles. Windom stated that he enjoyed working with McClain, and that he’s greatly appreciative of the FAMU connection that enables rattlers to help each other.
“I saw a person that was humble, who had been working really hard, and I saw an opportunity for him.”
Canal Street was released worldwide January 18, via Smith Global Media/Sony Pictures Entertainment.