Script Files

You Gotta Dance 2

MICHAEL DALUZ, 20s, hangs on the corner in the projects with his buddies. They deal drugs and discuss life, Michael questioning the meaning of it all to his friend’s chagrin. Then a car drives by and opens fire, Michael and his friends ducking for cover and shooting back. Later at home Michael swings by the bathroom to pick up his drug supply hidden behind some tiles but the stash is empty. Michael’s father, RAY, confronts him, drugs in hand. He doesn’t want any criminal activity under his roof and gives Michael an ultimatum. He either quits dealing or moves out. Michael decides to move out.
Over a decade passes and Michael is now a PhD candidate, drug and addiction counselor, and father to a cute little girl named BELLA. He gets Bella up and readies her for school reminding her that her mother will pick her up later. Michael then heads to the library to email his dissertation to his professor. Later he goes to the facility where he works for his mentor, DR. GAINS. Michael deals with patients who have problems with drugs and alcohol and depression. He does his best to help them. Later he discovers that his alcoholic ex-wife TRACEY failed to pick up Bella from school. Michael confronts Tracey and finds her drunk, her first daughter stripping for a friend in the apartment. Michael takes Bella away, cutting Tracey off. Angry, Tracey goes to the police and presses charges for kidnapping and Michael is arrested, Bella left with Michael’s parents.

Michael fights the case and beats Tracey in court, proving she is an unfit mother. He also deals with his own adversity when his dissertation isn’t accepted. He has to work hard and resubmit. Plus he’s trying to work with a troubled patient named TROY and finally breaks through to him and convinces him to fight. Flashbacks then fill in the blanks in Michael’s life, showing how he got hooked on drugs with his friends, and then later got clean thanks to some straight-living friends. He also reflects on a tragedy involving a bar fight that turns into a self-defense killing. Later his friend was killed by police because of the act of self-defense. All of this guilt has been sitting on Michael’s shoulders but he has stayed strong and clean. Tracey then says goodbye for good, realizing she’s a terrible mother and leaving Bella with Michael forever.

Michael’s dissertation is rejected a second time, delaying his graduation and forcing him to deal with lost financial aid. Michael refuses to take a loan from his parents and gets a second job but is hurt at a construction site and spends a long time in a coma in the hospital. Eventually he recovers and becomes inspired to finish what he started. He writes a new dissertation, defends it to a committee and finally earns his PhD. He then explains to Bella how you can never give up on your dreams in life and father and daughter celebrate.

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    United States
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  • Urbanworld Film Festival
    Atlanta, Georgia
    August 12, 2015
    Last Version won 8th Place Finish