A Thousand and One
Director: A.V. Rockwell Run Time: 116 min. Release Year: 2023
Starring: Aaron Kingsley Adetola, Aven Courtney, Josiah Cross, Teyana Taylor, William Catlett
Struggling but unapologetically living on her own terms, Inez is moving from shelter to shelter in mid-1990s New York City. With her 6-year-old son Terry in foster care and unable to leave him again, she kidnaps him so they can build their life together. As the years go by, their family grows and Terry becomes a smart yet quiet teenager, but the secret that has defined their lives threatens to destroy the home they have so improbably built.
Raised in Queens, New York, A.V. Rockwell found her earliest artistic expression directing high school theater. She attended NYU undergrad, majoring in communications, taking some film courses, and teaching herself how to direct by producing herself a series of ten shorts, Open City Mixtape, about New York’s inner city life. The shorts drew the attention of music video reps, and supporters like Spike Lee and Alicia Keys, whose music scores her 2016 richly textured 22-minute short, The Gospel. She went back to NYU to attend its graduate film program on a full scholarship but took a break to make the Tribeca Film Institute–supported Feathers — which premiered at TIFF
“Director and screenwriter A.V. Rockwell’s lens captures the beauty and vibrancy of the city of New York, Black life, and motherhood in poverty…” ~ Sheri Flanders, Chicago Reader
“Watching a ferociously protective and streetwise mother try to beat the system and raise a son who will have more opportunities than she is so compelling. Taylor’s searing portrayal of that woman is Oscar-worthy.” ~ Dwight Brown, DwightBrownInk.com