Griot's Lament

A series of precipitous events force the ensemble cast into a fateful intersection with justice and violence. Griot and the community struggle against the errors of terror so many make when it seems all is lost

  • Alex Munoz
    Spout, Riot, Dilemma, Aye Foo,
  • Alex Munoz
    Spout, A Dream Deferred, Riot, Dilemma, Aye Foo,
  • Alex Munoz
    Spout, Riot, Dilemma, Aye Foo,
  • Nicholas Thomas
    Aye Foo, A Dream Deferred
  • Brandon Hirsch
    Key Cast
    Spout, Drumline, NCIS
  • Tonya Kinzinger
    Key Cast
    Sous le soleil
  • Blake Young-Fountain
    Key Cast
    I Am Michael, The Skinny, Mindy Project,
  • Yelba Osorio
    Key Cast
    Riot, Carlito's Way
  • Project Type:
    Short, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 29, 0014
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    April 26, 15
    USA Premiere
    Nominated for Best Webisode; Nominated for Golden Reel Award
  • Garifuna Film Festival
    Venice, CA
    May 24, 15
    Director received certificate of Recognition from City of Santa Monica
  • Urban Media Makers Film Festival
    Atlanta, GA
    October 14, 14
    Audience Award for Best Webisode
Director Biography - Alex Munoz

Alex Munoz
While attending his last semester at the USC School of Cinema and Television Munoz directed his first film " RIOT" for Showtime ( Winner of the Audience Award at Geneva Film Festival) , which investigated the civil unrest following the Rodney King verdict. The film premiered at the FIRST AME Church in South Central and the screening was dramatically disrupted by a group of young black community activist who demanded that the entertainment industry do more to engage, train, and employ young people from disadvantaged communities. Munoz responded by forming FYI FILMS ( Films by Youth Inside) which empowers incarcerated youth via personal story telling and digital filmmaking. Munoz went on to direct LIVING THE LIFE, an independent feature film funded by Richard and Esther Shapiro. Following the completion of Living the Life, he went on to direct the award winning "DILEMMA" which was funded by BHERC and Sandra Evers Manly. The film focusses on an unlikely friendship between a Latino and Black youth while serving time at a youth correctional facility. "Lil Scrappy Boy" a short doc focussing on one of his FYI FILMS student and his decision to quit his gang in South Long Beach won Best Short Doc at the Urban World Film Festival. Another web series based on two Latino youth from East Los Angeles. "AYE FOO", is a cross between "Cheech and Chong" and "Beevis and Butthead" starring Johnny Ortiz, It won Best Comedy Webisode Series at UMFF in 2013. Munoz's is also shooting a sports documentary titled "A DREAM DEFERRED", which is organized around Derrick Rose and his Brother / Manager Reg Rose. He created a 15 minute short doc based on the first three days of filming and won BEST SPORTS DOC at Urban Media Makers Film Festival. His current web series, "Griot's Lament" investigates social and racial injustice and uses Michael Jackson song lyrics as dialogue. The series is co funded and produced by Sandra Evers Manly. The three webisodes he has completed have garnered over 15 Million views across multiple platforms. Griot's Lament won the Audience Award for Best Web Series at UMFF in October 2014 , and is nominated in the category of BEST DIRECTION at the upcoming TIVO Creative TV Awards. It was also recently nominated for a Golden Reel Award at the recent LAAPFF. Munoz also directed SPOUT, starring Rena Owen and Lobby Boy aka Tony Revolori from Grand Budapest Hotel. Spout is an off beat quirky vampire film which premiered at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and was well received in Germany after it screened at the Deutsche Kunst Akadamie last fall. Both Griots Lament and Spout are set to stream on Amazon this fall. Munoz is currently doing a final polish on his next feature length film "Make the Moon", which was developed at the Sundance Writer's Lab. The narrative is a suspense horror film, and is organized around the uncanny visits by the ghost of one of her identical twin sons. He is also in development on Versailles 73 which focusses on the incredible Versailles Fashion Show in 1973 during which Five American Fashion Designers blew away all the fashion critics by using all Black models recruited from the streets of NY while using Disco and R and B music. It is considered to be the major turning point for American Designers in the Fashion Industry.

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Director Statement

Michael Jackson Song Lyrics Used as Dialogue Investigates Urban Unrest In New Web-Series

Los Angeles, CA- “Griot’s Lament”, an award winning new web-series uses Michael Jackson’s song lyrics as dialogue  to address social injustice.  Written and directed by Alex Muñoz (Sundance fellow; Spout; Riot; ), since it's release on Michael Jackson's birthday “Griot’s Lament” just passed the six million views mark and won the award for ‘Best Webisode’ at the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival (UMFF). Muñoz says “by [recontexualizating] the King of Pop’s lyrics, our ‘Griot’s Lament’ trilogy series revisits and comments on the killings of Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, and the innocent youths that fell prey to violence in South Chicago.

Is "They don’t care about us" shouted as a veiled response to the Rodney King beating and could it have also been a foretelling or foreshadowing of the tragic humanitarian failures incurred during Hurricane Katrina? One scene in the trilogy series is staged to replicate the horrific Rodney King beating, asking the questions, how far have we really come along since the LA Riots?  The series poses the question, as Jackson did repeatedly via his music:  How culpable are WE... when society cannot fully function in the realm of justice?

The character "Griot" is the conduit for Jackson’s often overlooked and under recognized political orientation. “Griot’s Lament” is made possible by Urban Velour Entertainment, Sandra Evers-Manly, private funders and a successful crowdfunding campaign via United States Artists and Hatchfund. Photo includes “Griot”, (a one man chorus) played by actor/producer Brandon Hirsch; “Salb” (a Sad & Lonely Boy) played by actor/associate producer Blake Young-Fountain; “Colette” (a grandmother looking for her grandson) played by actress/activist Fatimah Halim; and “Lupe” (a character inspired by La Virgen De Guadalupe) played by actress Yelba Osorio.

To view “Griot’s Lament Webisode III” visit:
To view “Griot’s Lament Webisode II” visit:
To view “Griot’s Lament Webisode I” visit: