Short Film, "Silent" Has a Loud Message
Did you know that there are more mass shootings in the United States than in any other country in the world? Since 2006, there have been more than 200 mass killings in the U.S. More than ever, the news has reported stories on mass killings such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, to the Charleston church shooting and in recent news, the Orlando nightclub shooting.
Many times the news reports only on the victims but, rarely do we learn the root behind the bloodshed of the person behind the gun.
Young filmmaker, Jalen Coleman created a short film, 'Silent' that tells the fictional story of a young man named, Tye (Terrell Finister) whose life spirals out of control, to the point of no return. His story chronicles the tale of events that will lead him on a destructive path that will ultimately destroy the lives of many unsuspecting victims. Tye takes matters into his own hands when he makes the chilling decision to shoot up his school.
On Friday, August 26, Coleman premiered his short film, 'Silent' in front of a large audience at the Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles, California. Following the screening was a Q&A with cast and crew of the film along with live performances by Isaiah Jay,
LASpeaksVolumes, Halla, Cliff Taylor and Saniyah X.
To help bring his vision to life was the entertainment group, Tuff Crowd. Tuff Crowd is filled with talented individuals who have a genuine love for the arts. The Tuff Crowd members who starred in the film were, Shamori Andrus, Joshua Conteh, Terrell Finister, Lex Middleton, Asia Mitchell, Torry Richmond and Michael H. Williams.
Jalen helped put into perspective that we are all human and that we should pay attention to others. Someone you know may be going through something that could lead them into becoming a victim of their own circumstances.
"When I initially thought I was going to do a project about a shooting, in my mind, I wanted the shooter to be a monster or this terrible person, but I couldn't. This just naturally came. As hard as it is to believe, everyone is human. In Tye's situation, he was a victim of circumstances," said Coleman.
Editor, producer and Tuff Crowd member, Saniyah Lawson (Saniyah X ) describes, 'Silent' as a "dialogue starter."
"To describe 'Silent' in one sentence, I would say it is a dialogue starter. Often times, we see a lot of shootings happen on the news along with things that are going on, but we never really dive deep into the story of the people behind the gun. Sometimes, just like Terrell's character, you see that he was going through a lot of stuff that piled itself on top of each other, and maybe we can use the film as a conduit to help people think and start talking about that kind of stuff," said Saniyah X.
In the midst of the Q&A, the cast and crew acknowledged Jalen for his hard work and awarded him with a trophy that read, "Jalen Coleman, Director of the Year, Silent". Upon receiving his award, Jalen humbly broke down in tears as the audience stood and gave around of applause.
Actress and Tuff Crowd member, Shamori Andrus described Jalen as "amazing."
Jalen as a person is amazing. He is a great director, a great guy and very sweet. He is very passionate and on set, he was always really calm about everything and very specific in what it was he needed. I appreciate that about a person and with them being very professional at all times. He is amazing in all aspects," said Andrus.
'Silent' will teach viewers that although mass shooting has become common, to not become numb and to have compassion for others. The short film can be viewed below.
To stay in the know with Jalen and his many upcoming projects, you can follow him on social media at @jalenjcoleman. For more on Tuff Crowd, you can follow them as well at @tuffcrowdent.