Private Project

Make America Great?

In this satirical piece, we find ourselves in 2021, the beginning of the second term after the most anticipated Presidential election of 2016. The 13th and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution have been rewritten. Minorities have become illegal Aliens in an attempt to throw all disenfranchised groups in concentration camps, separating them from normal society. In Los Angeles, we meet a small group of runaways hiding out in an abandoned church debating how to get out the country. It is through their conversations we learn about each characters struggles with identity and self acceptance. Although they initially butt heads, they ultimately form a bond of unity to survive.

  • Candice Vernon
  • Candice Vernon
  • Candice Vernon
  • Libby Wicks
  • Cheryl Francis Harrington
    Key Cast
    Shameless, Two Broke Girls, General Hospital, Grey's Anatomy, The PJ's (voice of Ms. Mambo)
  • Chala Savino
    Key Cast
    Barbershop: The Next Cut, Soy Nero,
  • Ernest Pierce
    Key Cast
    Cheetah in August, Decker, 2016
  • Stephen Barrington
    Key Cast
    The Blacklist, The Products of the American Ghetto
  • Shannon Foster
    Key Cast
    The Grasslands, Locked Up Abroad
  • Karnell Matthews
    Key Cast
    Camel Spiders, FCU: Fact Checkers Unit
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 29, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Mini 2k
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Festival de Cannes - Short Film Corner
    May 22, 2017
    International Premiere
  • National Black Film Festival
    United States
    April 6, 2017
    Texas Premiere
    Audience Award for Best Short, Best Actress Award
  • The Hollywood Black Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    February 24, 2017
    Los Angeles Premiere
  • The Bill Johnson Black Film Festival
    United States
    February 18, 2017
    Indiana Premiere
  • Zero Film Festival - Los Angeles
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 20, 2017
    Audience Award Winner for Best Short
  • The Human District Film Festival
    June 1, 2017
  • LA Neo Noir Novel, Film, & Script Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    May 20, 2017
    Gold Award
  • Long Beach Indie Film Festival
    Long Beach, California
    United States
    September 2, 2017
  • Digital Box Office Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
Director Biography - Candice Vernon

Candice Vernon a Writer/Director, Producer, and all around Creative Thinker, has always been a natural leader, hailing from the small parish of St Ann, Jamaica. In her junior year at Temple University’s renown film program she co-founded her first production company APE Films, producing and co-directing a range of projects, including the 8th Annual Philly Music Awards, video bio’s for local celebrity musicians/entertainers, and a PSA for the city of Philadelphia's fire safety campaign Take It Outside.

Soon after receiving her B.A., Miss Vernon began her career casting for film and television, with Grant Wilfley Casting, on productions such as Mad Men, Across the Universe, and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. She also co-created, directed, and produced Broke Celebrity, a reality television show pilot for celebrity stylist Indashio. In the interim she wrote, directed, and produced a narrative short film Apartment 309 co-starring Ice-T. The film hit The Big Apple Film Festival, The Women’ s International Film Festival, and the New Filmmakers Showcase. This then led to a 1-year license on Television Jamaica. Soon after she was hired as the Associate Producer and Assistant Director on the feature film, The Grasslands, starring Peter Green (Pulp Fiction), Chuck Zito (Oz), James Madio (Basketball Diaries) and Arthur Nascarella (Sopranos).

Taking a detour from directing for several years, Miss Vernon became an Executive Producer in Advertising Content Production. While producing national TV spots, Miss Vernon also co created and produced two TV pilots (Calypso & Stoop Life) as well as a feature documentary (Maree V. State). Most recently she has left the world of corporate Advertising to return to writing and directing. Within months of her departure two of her episodic projects (Three Months and a Baby & Finding Jane) were selected as semi finalists for the Sundance New Voices Lab. Creating stirring and engaging narrative content is a love of hers and is evident in all of her work and partnerships to date. She looks forward to creating thought provoking and entertaining content on all screens.

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Director Statement

This film is needed because I think we all need a reminder that bad ideas from powerful individuals can effect an entire community of people. We need a reminder that in times of uncertainty unity is what is needed. We need a reminder that we must not be complacent and ignorant to our government, as every decision made affects us, therefore we need to be more involved especially at a local level. We need a reminder that to effect change we must come together and use our voices followed by action. Overall we need reminder not to foster and contribute to hateful rhetoric or prejudice stereotypes. There are two symbolic characters characters in the film, a 6 year old Black boy (Joshua) and a 6 year old White boy (Thomas). To not give away too much I will say that these two children are the future. This to me represents the innocence and purity of the America that I remember as a child after emigrating from Jamaica. I saw everyone as equal with no difference in color. It's only when we look at our society through a lens of purity and cast out all the learned hatred that we can truly progress as Americans and as people. That's what it means to me to Make America Great, no question mark needed. Without unity there is no progress!

The film was completed on December 29, 2016 and has been selected to screen at The Hollywood Black Film Festival, The Bill Johnson Black Film Festival (Honorary Award), the National Black Film Festival (Audience Award for Best Short, Best Actress Award), The Zero Film Festival - Los Angeles (Best Short Award), The Human District Film Festival, Cannes Short Film Corner, and the Long Beach Indie Fest to date. Please note that the film trailer has garnered over 184k views on it’s Facebook page in very little time. Most noteworthy The Hollywood Reporter released a story on the film on January 18th 20017 via private screening. The film had a limited release on Youtube but is no longer available for public viewing.

I hope to become an official selection of your festival and bring my message to your audience.


Candice Vernon