Private Project


At the age of 16, Malcolm was convicted of reckless homicide. While inside he converted to Islam, and after 7 years he is released. Now 23 years old, with no diploma, no work history, and no place to go, he returns to his childhood home seeking the forgiveness of his Mother. His crime has hurt her more than you can imagine.

Muslims are committed to Salat (praying) FIVE times a day to maintain devotion to Allah. Salat is one of the FIVE pillars that form the foundation of this faith along with Shahada (profession of faith), Zakat (charity), Sawm (Fasting), and Hajj (pilgrimage). In the environment where Malcolm grew up, this will become increasingly difficult. The streets of Compton have their challenges and distractions, but Malcolm knows his faith is the only way he can be strong enough to confront his darkest mistake and heal the pain he caused his family.

  • David Orantes
    Heart Lines
  • Duran Jones
    BLKMGC, La Negra, Same Old Story
  • Duran Jones
    BLKMGC, La Negra, Same Old Story
  • Jacob Gibson
    Key Cast
    Greys' Anatomy, Greenleaf, Blairsden
  • Hilary Ward
    Key Cast
    "Jeanine (Mother)"
    Sharp Object, NCIS, Grey's Anatomy
  • Sydney Thomas
    Key Cast
    "DeeDee (Sister)"
    Wandavision, Tall Girl
  • J.D. Hall
    Key Cast
    "Waleed (Mentor)"
    Father of the Bride, Fatal Attraction, JAWS: The Revenge
  • Charles Smith
    Key Cast
    "Jason (Best Friend)"
    Snowfall, Naomi, Cherish the Day
  • Dawit Adera
    Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas
  • Eric Osman
  • Rashi Jain
    Production Designer
  • Alexandra Kalinowski
  • Prateek Rajagopal
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    23 minutes 39 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 16, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    67,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - The American Film Institute Conservatory
  • 2022 Toronto Black Film Festival
  • 2022 American Black Film Festival
    United States
  • 2022 Micheaux Film Festival
    Los Angeles
  • 2022 Bronzelens Film Festival
  • 2022 Jacksonville Film Festival
    Best Student Film
  • 2022 Official Latino Film and Arts Festival
    Palm Springs
Director Biography - David Orantes

David Orantes is a proud son of immigrants, raised by a single mother in Sun Valley, California. A pursuant of the more human journey, this director first sought to immerse his character in film while at Los Angeles Valley College and through California State University, Northridge. Today, he is a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute Conservatory and at the helm of FIVE.

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Director Statement

History doesn't dictate who we are today, but we must choose how we respond to it. At the core of my being, there is a wound from childhood that I contend with daily. This wound says that I’m worth nothing. Nothing because my father drank himself to death and failed to let my four half-siblings know that their lonely brother exists. Because, I was left alone by my single, immigrant mother trying to keep the roof over her sons. Because, a school therapist couldn’t see that I was screaming for help inside my self-imposed stoicism.

Today, I know that wound is an illusion. Although it feels real because for a long period of time I behaved as it if were real. I didn’t care about my education nor did I care about having ambitions. Like Malcolm, I was caught up in short-term satisfactions— whatever could keep me from facing the worthlessness I felt at my core. I ate poorly, fed my mind junk, and numbed myself with pot. Eventually, I understood something was wrong, and it turned out that I had completely abandoned myself, the way I felt the world had abandoned me.

With this understanding, I sought help to build myself back up and to challenge this false notion of worthlessness. This challenge meant changing what I ate. It meant showing up for myself and understanding what I desire as a person and accepting that I deserve it. It meant designing a higher power that I could believe in to restore me to sanity. Most importantly, it meant waking every morning—no matter how silly it felt—to get on my knees and speak to that higher power. I am Malcolm; a child forced to grow up quickly seeking to cope with trauma through faith and consistency.