Film Project Updates


A family is shaken to the core when they discover their son has been molested. As they struggle to deal with the betrayal, their son heads towards a total mental collapse because of his love for his abuser, while his abuser attempts to exorcise his own past demons. The film stars Irma P. Hall (THE LADYKILLERS, COLLATERAL), Eugene Lee (LACKAWANNA BLUES, COACH CARTER) and newcomers Mikala Gibson, Shelton Jolivette and Jordan Cooper.

All photos courtesy of Melendrez Entertainment.

WOLF Trailer from Exodus Filmworks (Ya’Ke) on Vimeo.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD EPK

AWARDS
Panavision Best Texas Feature Film Award, Dallas International Film Festival
Arkansas-Times Audience Choice Award, Little Rock Film Festival
Audience Choice Award: Best Narrative Feature, Sidewalk Film Festival
Saatchi & Saatchi Producer’s Award, Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival
Honorable Mention: Best Narrative Feature, Urbanworld Film Festival
Special Jury Recognition, Best Director – First Feature, Pan African Film and Arts Festival
Nominee: Louis Black Award, SXSW Film Festival

FESTIVALS/SCREENINGS
SXSW Film Festival
Dallas International Film Festival
Little Rock Film Festival
Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival
Oakland Underground Film Festival
Alabama Sidewalk Film Festival
Black Harvest Film Festival
New York Latino International Film Festival
New Orleans Film Festival
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Reel Independent Film Festival
Urbanworld Film Festival
Cinesol Film Festival
Montreal International Black Film Festival
Our Image Film and Arts Festival
The Pan African Film and Arts Festival
ReelBlack Film Series
The WNY Black Film Festival

UPCOMING SCREENINGS

Available for download via iTunes. CLICK HERE to download.

THE BIRTH OF A WOLF

A few summers ago I came across the documentary, Deliver us from Evil, which chronicles the story of a pedophile clergy-man and the numerous children he abused. Towards the end of the film one of the victim’s father stated “I made up my mind. There is no GOD: and this coming from a man who had devoted his entire life to his religion. Growing up in church and being a firm believer in God, this statement shocked and intrigued me. I immediately started to think about all the people that I knew personally who had been abused (not just sexually) by the church and how many left because they too, no longer “believed.” They had spent so much time idolizing their leaders, making them their gods, and thus pushing GOD to the side. Their inability to separate the two left them scarred, angry and feeling abandoned. But who is responsible for this: them for forgetting the basis of what they believed or the church for perverting their belief by covering up abuse and creating God-like figures out of its leaders?

Before the ending credits finished rolling, I was already on the net doing research on sexual abuse. I came across a chat room for men who were molested as children. Some by family members, others by friends and a good majority by someone in their church: all in all they knew their abusers, loved them and even idolized them. The men on this site never told anyone before signing into the forum, and were only comfortable telling their stories because of the anonymity of the site. Some of the men became abusers. Some became alienated from society. Majority never fully healed from the psychological trauma. Their words haunted me. A haunting that drove me to my journal, where I wrote the outline for what would become the screenplay, Wolf.

Writing this film was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I’m not one to shy away from hot topics, but this one is such a sensitive, and very timely, issue that I wanted to make sure that I approached it with grace, not judgment. This film is not meant to criticize all churches, nor is it meant to dismiss Christianity as some faux religion where all people are preyed upon. My hope for the film is that it will shed light on the vicious cycle of sexual abuse so that victims can understand that they’re not alone and step out of the shadows of silence that have kept them bound.

“…insists upon nuances of feeling in a story that would, in most films, ignore them.”
-NPR

“Audacious”
-Ebony Magazine Online

“If you still believe in the power of film, watch WOLF.”
-Film Slate Magazine

“Ya’Ke Smith’s feature film directorial debut WOLF will likely elicit extreme reactions from viewers when it’s eventually in general release”
-Indiewire: Shadow and Act

“…Insightfully directed…”
-The Chicago Sun-Times

“…a compelling and powerful work…”
-The San Antonio Express-News

WOLF is an assured first feature loaded with performances of sustained intensity.”
-The Dallas Morning News

“The unbridled realism is what gives WOLF its gut-wrenching power. WOLF is definitely not an easy (or enjoyable) film to watch, but it is a film that truly deserves to be watched by everyone.”
-Smells Like Screen Spirit

“WOLF manages to strike harsh notes with astonishing grace.”
-The Austin Chronicle

” Beautifully shot and heavy with incredible, intense performances, WOLF is a triumphant narrative, absolutely harrowing.”
-Planet Fury

“Writer/director Ya’Ke Smith has created a powerful drama about molestation in WOLF.
-Austin 360

“While any movie with similar subject matter as WOLF can ofttimes be heavy handed in its morality, I found that Smith has done a fine job of showing a sense of restraint and kept his film grounded in a tight sense of reality.”
-Film Threat

“Ya’Ke Smith’s film, WOLF, picks up where Lee’s film went off the rails for good in taking a hot-button social issue and putting the humanity back where it needs to be – with the victims and their family.”
-eFilmCritic

“…powerful, distinct sound design and cinematography…impressive performances by the ensemble cast.”
-Indiesunchained

“…one of the best films of the SXSW Film Festival this year…an emotional powerhouse.”
-The Movie Critic

“WOLF is executed with great sincerity and is an important film. The actors do a fine job portraying a painful range of emotions, and Smith’s direction is solid”
-Slackerwood

After several prison stints, dawn is determined to right her wrongs, but the years locked away may have damaged her.

HEAVEN

03.27.2013

POSTED IN Blog, Events, Film Project Updates, Short Films | Comments Off

Exodus FIlmworks is proud to announce its next film HEAVEN. The film will go into production later this year and we need your support. Take a look at the promotional teaser/trailer for the film as well as the behind the scenes featurette. Also, check back momentarily for video updates on the screenwriting, pre-production and production process!

HEAVEN Teaser/Trailer from Exodus Filmworks (Ya'Ke) on Vimeo.

HEAVEN TEASER BEHIND THE SCENES FEATURETTE from Exodus Filmworks (Ya'Ke) on Vimeo.

We’re going international folks!!! WOLF will screen on Thursday, November 15th at 6:15 P.M. as part of the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario. I’ll be there to represent the film and participate in a panel discussion about the film, and how it addresses the subject of sexual abuse. Very excited to screen at this festival because the entire slate is dedicated to films that deal with mental illness and addiction. WOLF was made to bring awareness and be a conversation starter. Being featured at a festival like this tells me that the film is effective in those areas. If you’re in Toronto please come out and meet me there. CLICK HERE for details.

Hey everyone, so we hit the road again next week. We’re in North Carolina at the Cucalorus Film Film Festival on Saturday November 10th at 1:00 P.M. If you’re in Wilmington we’d love to see you there. The festival sounds like it’s going to be a blast and we’re excited to be a part of it. The WOLF tour continues! CLICK HERE for screening details.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!

CLICK HERE FOR SCREENING INFO!

This is really an honor. Although we’ve screened at many festivals, we’ve never been invited to be the opening night film of one. That’s pretty huge and we’re ecstatic. I will definitely be in the house, so if you’re in the area come and celebrate with me.

CLICK HERE FOR SCREENING DETAILS!

Excited to be coming back to Urbanworld. Katrina’s Son won the Best Short Award there a few years back and it’s really an honor to return with my first feature. I’ll be in the house! Cast and Crew will be there as well. Meet us in NYC!!

CLICK HERE FOR SCREENING DETAILS!

Ralph (Producer) and I will be in the house. We would love to see you there!!

CLICK HERE FOR SCREENING DETAILS!