AUGUSTUS

Augustus, a literate, escaped slave masquerading as a free man in Massachusetts just prior to the Civil War, experiences nightmares of his son's death and a future America that resembles the struggles of his own time. Augustus soon realizes the horrors of slavery and racial inequality will only continue if he remains complicit. He’s left with one choice; speak out or risk his freedom.

  • Jon Alston
    Director
    RED BUTTERFLY, SELL OUT!, WALE'S THERAPY SESSIONS (ALBUM TEASER)
  • Ayinde Howell
    Writer
  • Jon Alston (Story By)
    Writer
    ALL AMERICAN, RED BUTTERFLY
  • B. Quinn Curry
    Producer
    VOICE
  • Jon Alston
    Producer
    RED BUTTERFLY, SELL OUT!, WALE'S THERAPY SESSIONS (ALBUM TEASER)
  • Ayinde Howell
    Producer
  • Ayinde Howell
    Key Cast
    "Augustus"
    BROOKLYN 99
  • Michelle Mitchenor
    Key Cast
    "Anna"
    CHI-RAQ, LETHAL WEAPON
  • Patrick Cage
    Key Cast
    "Henry"
    WESTWORLD, THIS IS US, ALL AMERICAN, MANHUNT
  • Matt Edwards
    Director of Photography
    First Wives Club (2019), Harlem (2020)
  • Khamani Hagood
    Composer
    Black Monday, Mrs. America, When They See Us, The Society
  • Amanda Powell
    Wardrobe
    Field of Lost Shoes, Finding Josephine
  • Eric Marks, Transported Audio
    Sound Design
  • Donna Krutz Moore
    Makeup/ Hair Department Head
    Legends and Lies, Discarded Things
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 38 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    55,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival
    Providence, RI
    United States
    August 8, 2020
    GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Directorial Discovery Award
  • St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase
    St. Louis, MO
    United States
    July 10, 2020
    WINNER: Best Showcase Film, Best Directing, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Experimental Film
  • American Black Film Festival
    Miami, FL
    United States
    August 20, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Run & Shoot Filmworks Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival
    Oak Bluffs, MA
    United States
    October 6, 2020
    HBO Short Film Finalist
  • Diversity In Cannes Short Film & Webseries Showcase
    Cannes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
    France
    European
    Official Selection
  • A Show For A Change Film Festival
    Santa Monica, CA
    United States
    WINNER: Storytelling Award
  • The Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival
    St. Louis, MO
    United States
    November 21, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Social Justice Film Festival
    Seattle, Washington
    United States
    October 1, 2020
    PNW Premiere
    WINNER: Narrative Featurette Silver Prize
  • Tallgrass Film Festival
    Wichita, Kansas
    United States
    October 16, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Cucalorus Film Festival
    Wilmington, North Carolina
    United States
    November 11, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Portland Film Festival
    Portland, Oregon
    United States
    October 12, 2020
    Finalist
  • Hollyshorts
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    November 9, 2020
    Los Angeles
    Official Selection
  • Social Justice Now Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    October 21, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Justice Film Festival
    New York, NY
    United States
    November 18, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Big Apple Film Festival
    New York, NY
    United States
    November 15, 2020
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Jon Alston

JON ALSTON - A third-round draft NFL draft pick in 2006, retired in 2011 to pursue storytelling. Since retirement, Jon has directed short films, commercials and music videos. Jon's first screenplay and subsequent directorial debut, RED BUTTERFLY, (which premiered at the St. Louis International Film Festival) and attracted TONY award winner Wilson J. Heredia, International EMMY winner -Diogo Morgado, and Christine Evangelista who lead the E Network's series, THE ARRANGEMENT. Jon's work has amassed millions of views online and has been shown at multiple film festivals. In January of 2017, Jon enrolled at the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. Jon most recently served as Story Editor on the acclaimed TV series ALL AMERICAN and co-wrote the highest viewed episode of season one (All Eyez on Me). He recently wrote and directed the visual teaser for the Grammy nominated Hip-Hop artist, Wale's 6th studio album, "Wow, That's Crazy." Jon is currently adapting the OSCAR nominated short-doc, ST LOUIS SUPERMAN for the big screen. Jon’s latest short film, AUGUSTUS, a haunting period piece about an abolitionist with a twist is currently rounding the festival circuit in 2020.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Why Augustus?

Because this film is my life. I am a Stanford/ USC educated former NFL player…but my life is better defined as the son of a convicted felon. At the tender age of ten, I witnessed my own mother, a smart, albeit brash prosecutor and community activist in the small town of Bastrop, Louisiana succumb to the inherent prejudices of the US “Justice” System. Everything I’ve ever done or sought to do since that moment, was to make it right for my Mother and my family.

I got straight A’s in school because that was the teary-eyed promise I made as she was torn from my arms and led away to prison by bus. I paid her restitution with my NFL signing bonus. She earned her way back into society after paying her “debt” and even gained a bit of success as a legal consultant post-prison…at least until the ‘scarlet letter’ of disbarment continued to become the weapon by which any opposing attorney would attack the credibility of her work.

After witnessing her own boss, who had been exploiting her expertise for more than fourteen years, break the law…he attempted to turn the law against her in order to neutralize her testimony against him. He unduly had her arrested, the day she was to testify. No charges were ever filed, and the event was wiped from the record, but very fact was extremely traumatic and damaging…and there’s nothing we could ultimately do about it. This was 2014.

This is painful, but my Mother’s story has been told a hundred-thousand times in the history of our country. And so, my tears are not just for her or my family, they are for all who have suffered similarly. It is my mission to express what I’ve grown to feel through the medium of film, because my pains were something that I could never talk to anyone else about directly. And now, with AUGUSTUS, I continue to walk in that mission.