Divide: Time To Breathe (Feature)
Gerald, an African American teenager who believes in taking a stance against the injustice to his people, and rebels against his father Jerome, a retired police officer, who does not agree with the methods implemented by the BLM supporters in 2020. Feeling suffocated and unable to breathe, Gerald lashes out against his father’s opposing beliefs resulting in the immanent divide between them. Tensions rise and Gerald’s mother, Trisha, is caught in the fallout of this modern New York City family as they crumble to the pressures of different ideologies, racial injustice, and being Black in America.
Anthony PaulinoWriterDivide: Time To Breathe (short), Stranger in the room (short film), Red Rose (short film)
Laval AlsbrooksWriterDivide: Time to Breathe (Short Film), Junkie (Post Production), Circle Back (Short Film), Love at First Swipe (Short Film), Fiesta De Salchicha: Part I (Short Film)
Genres:Drama, Family, Blacklivesmatter, Social
Number of Pages:95
Country of Origin:United States
"Make films that resonate with people." These are words that ring true for any filmmaker. But for Anthony Paulino, they are the foundation that uphold his passion. Driven from the age of 20 in a city brimming with ambitious artists and entrepreneurs, the New York City native has taken great strides to achieving his dream.
Anthony Paulino was born in the central city of Bonao, Dominican Republic. Migrating to America when he was 6 years old with his mother and 1-year-old sister. He was highly influenced by the eccentric and colorful characters of Japanese anime, influencing his artistry and creativity from a young age. As a boy he would sit for hours drawing his own characters, naming them, and creating their own personalized backstories. This would carry over into his college years, when a 19-year-old Paulino delved into the world of animation in his sophomore year at Hunter College.
Reality hit hard when the realization had sunk in: “Animation is just not for me.” Without a rudder to guide him, the young man felt lost and disheartened. But this wouldn’t last for long. The introductory media production course that same semester would be the gateway to his true calling. Anthony immediately fell in love with the process of filmmaking. From writing, planning, shooting, and editing. It was the fulfilment of this all-encompassing experience that satisfied him more than drawing ever could.
As an undergrad student, Anthony went on to create several short films. The first being the eerie Here, Kitty, Kitty that nabbed an official selection at the 2019 CUNY Film Festival. Followed by the awkwardly relatable Strangers on a Subway that earned him a certificate of participation from the Asian Research Institute at the 2019 CUNY Asian American Film Festival. And even the campy horror Sleeping Forest which received positive reactions at Luv Story’s indie open screen in 2019.
After graduating, Anthony met FilmCloudStudio founder Jorge Alvarez, who quickly brought him onboard the production of his disturbing introspective drama Stolen Innocence. A film that would be screened at the 2019 International New York Film Festival. This began a fruitful partnership between the two filmmakers, subsequently teaming up to write and produce the spy thriller Red Rose the following summer. Since then, Paulino has joined the team as a fulltime member of FilmCloudStudio’s staff - helping write, produce, and direct multiple projects, including the highly acclaimed family drama, Divide – Time to Breathe.
It all began in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd
in the spring of 2020. The advent of Covid-19 brought forth a period of unwanted complacency
for filmmakers. 2 months of being quarantined had caused me to become creatively stagnant.
That is until late May, when the video went viral. Suddenly a fire was lit across America and the
world. People were out in the streets, standing up for their right to live, protesting against
systematic oppression. I had seen similar events take place over the years, but nothing as
visceral and wide spread as this. I wanted to do my part as an artist, to bring light to the situation
without being lost in the giant wave of social commentary that was to come. I had to think
Bringing awareness to the topic of police brutality through the lens of a family dynamic was
something I hadn’t seen before. “Divide - Time to Breathe” is a film that explores the delicate
relationship between an African American Father and son who are put at odds due to their
opposing beliefs surrounding Black Lives Matter. What is it like to live as a Black cop during
these turbulent times? How does it affect the relationships in your life? Are you seen as an
enemy within your own community? For some reason, these questions weren’t being asked by
the people around me; so I took it upon myself to ask them.
The main catalyst for the film came from a number of videos I had come across of Black
Americans denouncing the BLM movement for various reasons. At first, I was perplexed, but
then I started thinking...There seems to be a common misconception among us that one’s own
opinion is representative of their group as a whole. Especially for topics that are meant to be
universally unifying. We constantly subconsciously relegate individuals into categories indicative
of their race. When in actuality, each person forms their own opinions based on their unique
circumstances and surroundings. The notion that every African American will stand united
against police brutality is a reasonable one, but it’s far from the case.
The characters of Gerald and Jerome stand independently on opposing ends of a spectrum.
Despite the two sharing the physical similarities that would subject both to the same racial
discrimination. At their core, they are complete opposites. I wanted to create a space where
both perspectives were treated fairly and given a platform to express themselves without
judgement. This film is meant to open an unbiased dialogue crucial to communicating with one
another and understanding our differences.