Reunited: Local film sold in national chain

The Dallas Examiner

“Today was really surreal; it has just been a thrill,” exclaimed producer-writer-actress Priscilla Adams about the Maverick Entertainment Group’s nationwide release of her film, Reunited, into Wal-Mart stores and Family Video outlets Dec. 6.

“I’ve been to at least two of the Wal-Mart stores today to see the movie on the shelves, to kind of count and see how many they had out. And I talked to one of the employees to kind of get an idea of how they restock, and when they restock – kind of what triggers it – just so I know what to tell my social audience as far as how long the movie will be available and encouraging them to get it,” Adams continued.

The filmmaker took a personal approach to the distribution of her “baby” as a way of underpinning her hard-fought efforts to bring her first feature-length movie from concept to the screen.

“I’m a hands-on type of girl. I like to make sure that I have all the facts about things, and that I know how the situation of the process works so that I can share that information and do what I can do to bring about the desired effects,” she said.

The romantic drama, completed in 2011, has screened locally at the Studio Movie Grill. Since then, the film has received such recognition as an Award of Merit from Indie Fest, an Award of Excellence from the Accolades and Best New Film from PVIFF Atlanta. Reunited was also officially selected to feature during the Dallas Black Film Festival.

The movie was shot extensively around the city with a local film crew and features the on-screen talent of such Metroplex-based actors as Kenneth Duane, Jett Ray, Jocelyn Michelle Townsie and Donny Boaz, as well as music by R&B recording artist Dondria. The writer-director called the movie “a touching story” as she explained the plot.

“It’s a very emotional story, and it’s a very interesting drama,” Adams affirmed about the romantic angle while hinting at additional touches of comedy.

The Dallas Examiner’s Lashonda Cooks explored some of the movie’s concepts at the time Reunited was completed.

“In the breakout film, the Shreveport native stars as Angel, a woman who’d rather settle for ‘cuddling with a good book,’ than dive back into the world of dating,” Cooks penned in 2011. “But everything changes when her old high school flame, Broderick, returns to town.

“As the relationship between the two grows heated, Angel decides to reveal to Broderick that she is HIV-positive, leaving him to decide between abandoning her altogether or loving her, HIV and all.”

“You wonder, ‘OK, what’s going on with them?’ There’s clearly something big that is getting in between this couple and it makes you curious as to what it is,” Adams said. “And I’ll say, Reunited does deal with the issue that is a very important issue in our world today, in our relationships. It’s just that people don’t talk about it and it’s not something you’ve seen in other movies.”

It was not easy to obtain distribution for the groundbreaking film, despite Adams’ past experience with short films, she admitted.

“That is a huge challenge, and that’s a challenge that all filmmakers face,” she said. “We know, going into the beginning of making a film, that the chances of getting distribution are slim. They are pretty slim. But as a filmmaker, being the type of people we are, we dream, we hope, and we kind of take risks,” she confirmed.

The filmmaker confessed that the success of her movie ultimately rested in the path that God had decided for her – but she fought to see her vision completed rather than take anything for granted.

“What I could do physically, basically, is to just really try to just put myself in positions where I could potentially meet distributors. I tried looking up distributors online but it’s like they’re in a secret club where you can never find out who they are or where they are and what they’re doing.” Adams offered that with each film festival win, attention and word-of-mouth grew for her project. The end result of her talent and persistence was a feature film that is now available to everyone across the U.S.

She indicated that the movie may be coming to cable television channels and the Redbox and Hulu platforms in the future, as well.

“I’m ecstatic. I’m happy. Not just for myself but I’m just thrilled to be able to make this possible for the cast and the crew members. Everyone who had a part in putting this movie together, I’m just glad that I was able to get distribution for all of us because it definitely gives us all more exposure, and gives us all more legitimacy in the film industry in our individual careers,” Adams said. This is just the beginning for her, however.

“I’m definitely going to pursue making more films. That’s my next step, and the biggest thing that I’ll need to do that will be financing,” she said. “If you don’t have your financing then it’s almost impossible to make a movie. It takes so many personnel. It takes a whole team to make a movie.”

Still, the producer emphasized that the success she found with the film has made her more determined to continue telling stories for the big and small screens.

“I have a couple of other scripts that I would like to do as well; as well as I’d like to produce films for other writers and other people that have stories that they want to tell.”

More information on the film can be found at http://www.reunitedthemovie.com.

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