A Storybook Ending

A STORYBOOK ENDING is a dark comedy about a Black man who accidentally kills an undercover White police officer in self-defense. The subsequent cover-up sets off a chain reaction of deceit, blackmail, and murder.

  • Lanre Olabisi
    Somewhere in the Middle, August the First
  • Lanre Olabisi
    Somewhere in the Middle, August the First
  • Lanre Olabisi
    Somewhere in the Middle, August the First
  • Ross Vedder
  • Tiffany Smile
    Somewhere in the Middle
  • Carra Patterson
    Key Cast
    Straight Outta Compton, The Arrangement
  • Rotimi Paul
    Key Cast
    The First Purge
  • Toni Ann DeNoble
    Key Cast
    Sneaky Pete
  • Sawandi Wilson
    Key Cast
    The House of Flowers
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Crime, Dark Comedy, Action, Thriller
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 3, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • American Black Film Festival

    August 21, 2020
Director Biography - Lanre Olabisi

Lanre Olabisi is a writer and director of independent film. His feature directorial work includes AUGUST THE FIRST and SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE. Combined, these two films screened in over 70 film festivals including SXSW and the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. His films have won numerous prizes and have been nominated for an IFP Gotham Award as well as a Black Reel Award.

AUGUST THE FIRST and SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE are distributed by Film Movement and they have played on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, Tubi, PBS and Vudu. Lanre is currently in development on his third feature film, A STORYBOOK ENDING, and is in post-production on a short film version of the film which will premiere in 2020.

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Director Statement

“It is not necessary that you believe that the officer who choked Eric Garner set out that day to destroy a body. All you need to understand is that the officer carries with him the power of the American state and the weight of an American legacy, and they necessitate that of the bodies destroyed every year, some wild and disproportionate number of them will be black.” –Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Letter to My Son,” The Atlantic

As an African-American man living in New York City, I am acutely aware of every incident that involves police misconduct. One moment in particular stuck with me. Back in 2015 James Blake, a former African-American tennis star, was standing in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. For no apparent reason and without ever announcing his presence, a plainclothes police officer violently tackled Mr. Blake to the ground as he was waiting for a car to pick him up for the U.S. Open tennis tournament.

Amongst many African-Americans I spoke with, this incident further solidified their mistrust of the police. For me, it had a different effect. As a 6’3, 240lbs African-American man who happens to be a former Division I college wrestler with an extensive martial arts background, it lead me to ask: what if? What if this had happened to me? What if I had fought back? What if it was nighttime? What if no one was around? What if I threw the cop to the ground and accidentally killed him? What if I ran away in a panic? Fortunately, I never had to make this choice, but the main character in this film, Wale, does.

A STORYBOOK ENDING explores contemporary race relations in the United States through the lens of a dark comedy/crime thriller. While in many ways, it is a complete departure of my previous work, it is in line squarely in line with my mission as a filmmaker: to show people of color in ways that we have not seen them portrayed on film.

A STORYBOOK ENDING draws upon the stylized visual touches of neo-noir cinema while avoiding the stylized acting that often accompanies such films. All of this combined with a stinging social satire will hopefully provoke meaningful discussion, but also be a fun emotional roller coaster ride for the audience.