|East Coast Premiere|
|Cast: ||Joel Leitch, Dimitri Carter, Shemar Jonas, Lisa Drouillard, Brigid Turner|
|Crew: ||Producers: Shawn Antoine II, Korstiaan Vandiver - Screenwriters: Shawn Antoine II - Executive Producer: Nate Parker, Shawn Antoine II, Sharon Wilson
Darius and Hakeem dance on New York City trains to earn honest money and escape the crime-riddled streets of Harlem. A woman sees Darius dancing on the train and offers him an opportunity to audition for a Juilliard travel dance team. Hakeem is jealous that Darius may pursue this opportunity. Hakeem begins to sell drugs with the neighborhood goon TJ and succumb to the crime in Harlem. Darius is faced with the decision to pursue this life-changing opportunity or help keep Hakeem out of trouble.
Shawn Antoine II is a 22-year-old writer/director/producer from
Harlem, New York. Shawn is currently a senior at the University of Rhode Island where he plays division 1 football while majoring in public relations and film production. Shawn creates films that INFORM and INSPIRE. He has created numerous shorts and documentaries that have been screened at over 20 film festivals globally.
“Showtime takes viewers into the unforgiving world of a New York City subway dancer”.
During the summer of 2017 I was asked to pitch an original film to MACRO, known for Academy Award-nominated films "Fences" and "Mudbound". I spent weeks prior trying to figure out what to pitch, and ended up choosing a film that meant as much to me as it does the New York City culture that raised me.
As a Harlem native and daily train commuter, I was always mesmerized as kids would strut onto the train and shout "Showtime"! Pulling off acrobatic stunts while commuters cheered and rewarded money. For many of my friends, dancing in the subway was their way of not falling victim to the rampant crime in our neighborhood. The NYC Metro Subway served not only as an escape from the crime in the city but also as an opportunity these young dancers to showcase their talents to an audience of thousands on the daily.
For 8 months I spent time developing “Showtime” and interviewing subway dancers to get a deeper understanding of their day-to-day struggles.
Manifesting this project was certainly a process, but fortunately I was able to call upon two of my instructors from the Nate Parker Film Institute: Koorstian Vandiver as a producer & EJ McCartney as Director of Photography.
After a series of script rewrites and story changes with my producer, I manifested what would become my short film "Showtime ". Once we had a completed script, I held an open casting call for the public. Joel Leitch, the lead actor in "Showtime" is a well-known lite feet dancer who had never acted before. Our other cast members Dimitri Carter, Shemar Jonas, Lisa Droulliard, and Brigid Turner all had prior experience including Netflix & CBS.
The music from the film is all curated from local Harlem artists. Our crew members are current full-time college students at NYU, University of Rhode Island, and Brown University.
"Showtime" was generously crowdfunded by over 120 people who believed I was the one to tell this story.”