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Part of SFFILM Festival


Directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green

USA | Fiction Feature | 89

12 Apr
Fri, Apr 12 at 8:30 pm
16 Apr
Tue, Apr 16 at 8:30 pm
The Theater at Children's Creativity Museum


The tender, heartbreaking, and complicated nature of young love is delicately and sensually captured in Rashaad Ernesto Green’s (Gun Hill Road) latest film. Ayanna is a talented poet spending her final summer in Harlem before leaving for college. When she meets the southern-born Isaiah (handsome newcomer Joshua Boone) and falls in love, complications arise that challenge their relationship and her future. Anchored by an incredible performance by co-writer and lead actress Zora Howard, Premature spotlights love and the tiny obstacles that add up to make or break a partnership.

“Sometimes a movie’s most potent asset — its not-so-secret weapon — is the face of its lead performer. Such is the case with Premature, a modest, lovely slice of New York City naturalism about a Black teen and her steamy summer fling with a slightly older man. The face in question — that of Zora Howard, who also co-wrote the film — is not an immediately accessible one; it’s long and watchful, suggesting a spiky, searching intelligence, a glimmer of mischief, and secrets closely kept. When, late in the movie, a flood of feelings burst through that stoicism, their force knocks you sideways.” – Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter

Director Rashaad Ernesto Green

New York University film school graduate Rashaad Ernesto Green began his career making short films, including Premature (2008), the genesis of his current feature and the winner of the Short Film Award at the American Black Film Festival. His debut feature film, Gun Hill Road (2011), garnered the Best First Narrative Feature Audience Award and the Freedom Award at FilmOUT San Diego and a GLADD Media Awards nomination for Outstanding Film–Limited Release. Green has also directed extensively for television, including such series as Supernatural (2005- ), The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017), and Luke Cage (2016-2018). Of his feature Premature (2019), he says, “Our story is set against a currently vanishing Harlem landscape. In 10 years, Harlem will not look like what it looks like today, just as it isn’t what it was five years ago. There’s a new bar, coffee shop, and boutique popping up on every corner in Harlem. All the old mom-and-pop shops are disappearing, as well as the Black population. We felt it was pertinent to capture a universal story of love among Black youth, and to immortalize that love in present-day Harlem on celluloid before it was too late.”



Film Details

Year 2019

Language English

Runtime 89

Country USA

Director Rashaad Ernesto Green

Producer Joy Ganes, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Darren Dean

Writer Rashaad Ernesto Green, Zora Howard

Editor Justin Chan

Cinematographer Laura Valladao

Music Patrick Cannell, Stefan Swanson

Cast Zora Howard, Joshua Boone, Michelle Wilson

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