The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is going down in Miami and one of the highlights of the 5-day festival was the world premiere of BEATS. The Netflix film that stars Anthony Anderson, Khalil Everage, and Uzo Aduba is certainly worth watching, as it shines a light on the mental effects of gun violence.
Check out the official synopsis:
In this coming-of-age drama, a reclusive teenage musical prodigy (Khalil Everage) forms an unlikely friendship with a down-on-his-luck high school security guard (Anthony Anderson). United by their mutual love of hip-hop, they try to free each other from the demons of their past and break into the city’s music scene. Directed by Chris Robinson BEATS features Everage in his feature film debut and co-stars Uzo Aduba and Emayatzy Corinealdi. BEATS is the ultimate ode to Chicago’s South Side, and its long history of creating music that forms the city’s beating heart.
Set in Chicago, the film directed by Chris Robinson (The New Edition Story) follows August; a teenager traumatized after witnessing a devastating tragedy. While we won’t give too much of the plot away, we will say that the strength of the ensemble cast carries this film that also benefits from its hip-hop backdrop. Anthony Anderson pulls off the dramatic role in a way we haven’t seen before, proving his talents extend beyond the realms of comedy.
His character is not a likable guy. In fact, he’s a washed up music manager who is barely holding on to his gig as a security guard at the high school where his estranged wife is the principal. Still, he’s a complex character whose intentions aren’t always pure but somehow, he remains empathetic, even when his self-serving decisions are questionable.
Everage’s feature film debut is a strong one, and he manages to tap into what happens to a young mind when it’s pushed passed its limits by trauma. Uzo Aduba is impressive as always; this time as a mother struggling to protect her son from a city that is no longer safe.
Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Anthony Anderson and Chris Robinson. Until then, check out the official trailer:
BEATS hits Netflix on June 19.