An unassuming single father, Emmanuel, struggles desperately to keep his life from unraveling when it is discovered that he was once a child soldier who committed heinous atrocities.
When I was nine years old, during the 1999 rebel war in Sierra Leone, I looked out my window to see a child soldier walking in front of my house. He was around my age. He was dragging a rocket-propelled Grenade (RPG) that was too heavy for him to carry. Slung across his chest was an AK-47 rifle.
He was headed down to a river a mile away, to push back foreign military forces attempting to stop the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels from taking over the country. The image of that child never left me. Throughout the years, I've always wondered what became of him.
Over the years, I’ve heard about men like these first hand from my father who worked for the United nations rehabilitating and reintegrating ex-combatants in post-conflict societies. These were the driving forces for my exploration into this story.
FIRST LOOK IMAGES
Here are a few excerpts from storyboard sequences of our film.
DARRELL LAKE - WRITER|DIRECTOR|Producer
Darrell Lake is a director, writer, producer and actor based in Los Angeles. A native of Sierra Leone, Darrell was born abroad in England. At a young age, he and his family were forced to flee his beloved native country due to the devastating war. His family sought refuge in Guinea, Ghana, The Gambia and Eritrea before moving back to Sierra Leone. During his travels, he became enthralled with the diverse cultures he was immersed in and came to the conclusion that he wanted to tell stories that capture the humanity he witnessed. After starting to write short stories and scripts, he quickly realized the limitations of a career in filmmaking in his country, so he pursued the American Dream and came to the U.S.!
Most recently, he wrote, directed, executive produced and starred in the Warner Bros. Stage13 short-form comedy series ‘The Incredible Life of Darrell’.
His industry accolades include: A Special Jury Award at the 2018 Sundance film festival for the short film Emergency that he starred in, Best Actor at the Independent Television & Film Festival, Best Web Series at the Miami Short Film Festival for The Incredible Life of Darrell, Semi-Finalist at the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival for his drama short A Silent Whisper, Finalist for his short documentary Grand Park July 4th Block Party at the On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project, Best Drama Web Series for his web series Love Struck, at Independent Film Quarterly (IFQ) Film and Webisode Festival. He also won best actor for starring in the drama short Roubado
edmundo sanchez - storyboard artist
Edmundo is a Los Angeles based Game Artist with skills ranging form 3-d modeling to concept art. He graduated from the art institutes international of California in San Francisco with a Degree in media arts. He has been working as a game artist for over 15 years in California.
matt hill - producer
Matt is a producer and writer, best known for his work on television shows for National Geographic, PBS, Discovery Channel, and Travel Channel and recently developed a new Netflix series. His work on such globe-spanning series as Expedition Unknown and Legendary Locations have taken him to five continents around the world, and his work has spanned several genres -- from historical documentaries (The Greeks) to wildlife specials (Urban Jungle) to live-to-tape competition shows (National Geographic Bee). He has also served as a producer and writer on award-winning independent documentaries, such as The Meaning of Wild and The Salmon Forest, and on such short-form web series as The Future of Food and The Greek Guide to Greatness. Hill attended Dartmouth College and Brown University.
Kyle Krupinski - Director of photography
Kyle Krupinski is an award winning Director of Photography based in Los Angeles. He is originally from the midwest. Kyle’s passion for cinematography and storytelling has led him to lens films, commercials, documentaries, fashion, and music videos.
His work has screened at Sundance, British Film institute in London, SXSW Music Conference, Future Film Fest, Newport Beach Film Fest, Berlin Fashion Film Fest, Burbank International Film Fest and more.
Patrick Lawrence - Editor
Patrick Lawrence is a Los Angeles based Editor and Director, originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Patrick recently edited the Netflix Original series Bonding. He has edited over 9 Feature Films since 2014, including Clara's Ghost (MGM/Orion), which world premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. In addition to having 4 films premiere at Sundance, projects that Patrick has edited have screened worldwide at SXSW, Cannes, LA Film Festival and more.
Patrick is also the Lead editor on The Incredible Life of Darrell, an upcoming comedy series for Warner Bros, Stage 13.
As a director, he has directed over 30 music videos, working with Grammy nominated artist James Lay, Cece Frey (The X Factor), Caroline Pennell (The Voice)…
His latest short film, “Lionheart”, produced by Universals Music Group, premiered at the British Film institute in London and the SXSW Music Conference.
DARRELL LAKE | PORTFOLIO
Excerpts of work Darrell Lake has Directed/Written and also projects he has acted in.