"Smoke" is the directorial debut of filmmaker Mackleen Desravines, writer and executive producer of "The Adjuncts: (web series). "Smoke" tells the story of the Dearborne Heights Murders case that happened in 2016. Gregory Green, convicted of killing his wife and unborn child in 1991, was released from jail where he would eventually kill his second family. Baffling prison staff, a pastor-turned father-in-law, and prison reform advocates alike, this film forces viewers to question, Are we doing enough in our jails to truly rehabilitate criminals?”
In the film, two attorneys as they face-off over the fate of a man, Adrian Brown (Kendrick Cross, Ambitions), who in a fit of rage, commits an unthinkable crime. Prosecution attorney Natasha Marshall (Reece Odum, Vampire Diaries), believes in the death penalty, while defense attorney Joe Tucker (Blue Kimball, Craig Ross Jr.'s Monogamy ), thinks time served in jail can change and rehabilitate a person. Faced with a suffering family and flashbacks of her own private grief, Natasha fights against what the law demands in finding justice in a pool of blood created by rage.
What influenced me to write this script and film it was I couldn’t understand how the law let this man out of jail in the first place. I explore the law in this story through dialogue, conflict and later a resolution. I created characters around the case to speak for the voices I saw commenting online blaming the victim and others defending the victim.
Smoke debuted Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at the AMC Theatres AMC North Dekalb 16 selling out over 300 seats. Media and press were there to capture the excitement of the anticipated film release.
Running Time 50 minutes
Written and Directed by Mackleen Desravines
Executive Produced By Mackleen Desravines
Renika J Swanson
Production Company Mack Escape Hatch Productions
Cinematographer & Editor Doryan Sparkman
Adrian Brown, a convicted felon released on parol is arrested again for murder but this time his new wife, three attorney's and a judge have to decide the fate.
Two attorneys, Natasha Marshall played by Reece Odum and Joe Tucker played by Blue Kimble, face off in trying to decide the fate of a man, Adrian Brown played by Kendrick Cross, who in a fit of rage commits an unthinkable crime. Natasha Marshall, prosecution attorney, believes in justice and the death penalty, while Joe Tucker, defense attorney, thinks time served in jail can change and rehabilitate a person. When being faced with a suffering family and flashbacks of her private grief, Natasha fights against what the law demands to find justice in the pool of blood created by rage.
"Smoke" is a film, based on a true story about the conviction of a man, who within a span of 25 years, murdered two sets of his family. The man, whose name is Adrian in the film, played by Kendrick Cross, murdered his first wife, who was pregnant. He then goes to jail for less than 16 years, comes out, and 10 years later murders four of his children. The film focuses on all the people involved in the case, such as the defense attorney, played by Blue Kimble and prosecution attorneys played by Reece Odum and Liz DeCoudres.
The angle the short takes on is similar to the movie "Crash". It shows different perspectives of everyone involved in the case. Audiences will see how the attorneys deal with the case, such as the conflict the prosecution attorney faces trying to appease the victim and her family and the harsh realities of the law. They will also see how the defense chooses their case and represent a murderer.
The relationship between the couple is also something that is explored. How the couple came together, when it fell apart and where it finalizes in the courtroom. Other family members, such as the father played an important role in the script because the father is who introduces his daughter to the man who will later murder her children.
Another perspective the script focuses on is the judge and her assistant. Their roles are added in to show an outside perspective of how others see the situation.
In the original case and in the film, the man who murdered his family is convicted of second-degree murder with the option of parole. Audiences will understand how the judicial system handles extreme cases like this and see the unfairness in-laws.
Reece Odum is a native of Atlanta GA. This award-winning actress has always had a true love for the performing arts. In just a short time, Her acting career quickly flourished allowing her the opportunity of completing several film and television projects where she performed in lead or principal roles. Recently she landed recurring roles on The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" season 8, Bounce TV's "Saints and Sinners" Season 2. Her films and television shows include TV One's "The Secret She Kept", Oxygen's "Killer Posts", BET Centric's "What Love Will Make You Do", BET's "Mr. Right", UPtv' s " Lyfe's Journey", and "The Wish".
Blue Kimble is a fresh face to the entertainment industry who has become a rising star. From Atlanta GA., Blue is a former professional football player who is now an Actor & Entertainer. Blue has only been acting for a few years but is blessed to have been cast in many major productions including Hunger Games Catching Fire, Fast and Furious 5, BETs The Game, Devious Maids, and BETs Being Mary Jane...just to name a few.
Kendrick Cross was born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Kendrick N. Cross. He is an actor and producer, known for Death Sentence (2007), The 5th Wave (2016) and Iron Man 3 (2013). He continues to have leading roles such as All Eyes on Me (2017) Tyler Perry’s Acrimony (2018) Homeland (2018) Dynasty (2018) and currently Ambitions.
Liz DeCoudres is an actress, known
for Volatile (2019), Smoke (2018) and We've Got Something in Common. Liz lives with her husband and children in Atlanta. She continues to take on different roles as an actress. "Smoke" was her first film.
Shakira Day is an actress, known for Smoke (2018) and Flags on the Field (2015). Shy lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her two children. She continues to pursue her acting career as well as model.
Native of Atlanta, GA.
Princess Elmore grew up on the south side of Atlanta. She has always had a passion for singing and the Performing Arts. Princess attended Alcorn State University in Lorman, MS. where she studied Music Education. She had the determination to continue her dreams of becoming a full time working actress, she attended Acting and On-Camera classes at the Alliance Theatre and the Actors scene Studio owned by Life Coach and Actress Jonna Johnson. Her theatrical credits include;" "He Who Finds a Wife, Finds a Good Thing", "In the Midst of It All", " Lord Change My Heart", "Screamers 2", From My Test, Comes My Testimony", "When Rhythm Met Blues", and the 1999 stage musical, "Hold Me".
Cindy L. Jefferson, was born February 9, 1963, in Harlem, NY. In 8th grade, while attending The Lenox School, Cindy decided she wanted to be an actress. Discouraged by her mother, she didn't start pursuing her dreams until after starting a family and later divorcing. The demands of single parenting took center stage leaving her to put her dreams of acting on the back burner, again.
So years later, after both children had graduated from high school, Cindy finally embraced her dream of acting and has been on the path ever since. Her motto is " It's never too late to pursue your dreams"
Stella Doyle acting became apparent at an early age, putting on skits for mom and dad. She would round up the siblings to be "extras" in productions with her living room as her stage. Times were really tough for the family so delayed was the pursuit of acting. Decades later the opportunity came in the most unusual place; the Police Department; Filming industrial/training films. She continues to pursue her passion both in acting and as an animal advocate.
Olga Elena was born in Colombia, South America. At age 6 her family moved to Torreón, Mexico where she lived until she moved to Monterrey at age 18. There she attended fashion design school and became involved in the local theater community where she developed a career of almost a decade on stage. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
Cindy L. Jefferson
From the Director
Mackleen Desravines is an Atlanta filmmaker by way of Boston, Massachusetts. Mackleen started her career in film by writing and producing her web series “The Adjuncts” currently on Youtube in 2016. From there, she continued to film and produce other films both long and short form. “Smoke” is her first feature film and also her directorial debut released in 2018.
"What influenced me to write and film this story was I couldn’t understand how the law let this man out of jail in the first place. The film follows two attorneys who go back and forth trying to decide the fate of this man. One side is wanting the death penalty and the other hand understanding him as a human and believes prison will rehabilitate him. I explore the law in this story through dialogue, conflict and later a resolution. I created characters around the case to speak for the voices I saw commenting online blaming the victim and others defending the victim.
As I directed the movie, one of the most important things I wanted to make sure of was humanizing my characters. The character, Adrian, I specifically told my actor not to act all menacing because we are to humanize the real person to show his monstrous acts but not prove that he was a monster. I wanted audiences to see this not necessarily sympathize with him but feel his pain of living in "Smoke." Viewers will feel his regret and anger he feels towards himself." - Mackleen
Popular Movie Quotes
"Remember, it was your client who got him out of jail. Since your client thinks he deserves a second chance, why shouldn't we?" -Joe Tucker
How do you let a snake into your house, then you're shocked when he bites?" Isabella Rodriguez
"I didn't know killing children was a simple ordeal." Natasha Marshall