Interview: Actors Tirf Alexius & Remoh Romeo on ‘Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers’ Premiere on Sep. 16, 2016

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CHICAGO – The brothers from Haiti, by way of Chicago – Tirf Alexius and Remoh Romeo – are back with their latest production, “Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers.” The U.S. premiere will be in Chicago this Friday, September 16th, 2016. This is the brother’s third feature, after “Critical Nexus” (2013) and the documentary “Lakay” (2014).

“Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers” (BSOTF) is a smart crime drama – written and directed by Lanre Sarumi – pitting a host of characters within the web of a super narcotic, destined to be the hottest illegal drug on the streets. Who will benefit and who will be denied is the conflict in every good street drama, and BSOTF delivers the energy. The U.S. Premiere and Red Carpet Event will be at the Patio Theatre on the northwest side of Chicago (see details below), followed by screenings in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City.

Tirf Alexius and Remoh Romeo in ‘Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers’
Photo credit: 4 Features Film Co.

Tirf Alexius and his brother Remoh Romeo portray Rex and Cal in the film, and also are Executive Producers through their 4 Features Film Co. In anticipation of the premiere, they sat down with, to talk about the movie and their adventures with their recent documentary, “Lakay.” You shot this film in the midst of working on “Lakay,” which was released first. When you came back to ‘BSOTF,’ what were the main fixes you had to do to get it ready to release?

Tirf Alexius: Once we saw the footage, we knew that ADR (re-recording dialogue) was going to be important, as well as sound design overall, because there were a lot of moments when we had atmosphere without dialogue. Our composer, Jon Pierre, did his thing as well, who does it for all our films. We didn’t re-edit the film at all, and we had the solid acting, what we needed were the post production touches to make it all work.        

Remoh Romeo: The color correction was also crucial. There are many night shots, and the mood definitely needed to be set in each scene. You both have a unique way of marketing your films, a guerilla style that is harder work but rewards in unique ways. What method did you find is the easiest way to market a film, in the balance between the work you have to put into it and the results you get from that work?

Alexius: Interestingly enough, because of our music background, we found that merchandising is key. For example, with our film ‘Lakay,’ we launched the merchandise before the film even came out. We wanted to create an association with the film, even if they didn’t know what it was about. The name was already out there, and then they realized it was a documentary. We want the visual hook. Some kind of element that ties into the film.

Romeo: If you look at the major films, they all have some kind of visual design that ties into the film. It enhances the marketing in an easily manageable way. So you both went to Haiti to premiere ‘BSOTF.’ What was the strategy behind doing that?

Alexius: Because of the interest from ‘Lakay,’ they wanted to see more from us, so we decided to give them this gift. We wanted Haiti to see ‘BSOTF,’ first, instead of the U.S. You spent 2014 and ’15 with your excellent Haiti documentary, ‘Lakay,’ promoting, marketing and even going to Haiti to screen it. From the moment you turned on the camera to the very end of the last event in relationship to it, what was your most satisfying moment through the unique journey?

Alexius: The most satisfying part for me was at the point of the finished film, when it first was screened for my mother. I got to witness the range of emotions she went through as she watched it - she cried, laugh and clapped. And after it was over she turned around and said, ‘Baby, this is beautiful.’ That’s when I knew that we got our part right, because she lived a lot of her life in Haiti. If it could resonate with her, then we did the job correctly.

Romeo: For me, it was watching the audience reaction, especially the kids. The kids in Haiti, for example, were responding to it, even as it was a documentary. Younger kids are not really into documentaries, but because of the way it was shot I think they couldn’t tell that it was a narrative film or a doc, and in that way the response was great.

Hugh Grady in ‘Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers’
Photo credit: 4 Features Film Co. Since before you did ‘Lakay,’ you both were more American than Haitian, and in doing the documentary, you both connected back to roots you could barely remember as children. How did that connection put you into another direction in your lives?

Alexius: For me, because of getting that connection renewed, it slowed my life down a bit. It allowed me to appreciate and enjoy my kids, but also it allowed me to focus at work and delegate my time and energy. It was a better direction overall, and I got more things done.

Romeo: It made me become more aware of my surroundings, and what I have built in my life here. It taught me to be a better person overall, and use that positive energy and apply it to all my projects. What is your pitch to the audience for ‘Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers,’ as far as what you think they’ll relate to the most in the film, and what makes you most proud of it?

Alexius: It’s a smart film. It’s a crime film that explores the drug business, but it’s not necessarily about the drug, just the life surrounding it. Also it’s a film that features persons of color – both in front of the camera and on the production team – in a time when we’re talking about Black Lives Matter, so this is by all means an essential black empowerment. We’re not marketing it that way, but it is us, putting our money where our mouths are, and spotlighting persons of color in a film.

Romeo: Yes, people crave more films where then can see themselves reflected back to them in a movie – and we balance many ethnicities within the film. It’s a source of pride, so come and enjoy it.

The U.S. Premiere of “Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers” will take place on September 16th, 2016 (7:30pm Red Carpet & 9:30pm extra screening), at the Patio Theatre, 6008 Irving Park Road, Chicago. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.BSOTF” will release via Video-On-Demand nationwide October 11th, 2106. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2016 Patrick McDonald,

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