The new movie Dayveon stars Devin Blackmon in the title role as a 13-year-old young man in Arkansas. He’s just seen his older brother be killed and is aimless and restless. Despite the efforts of some around him, including his sister’s boyfriend, to support him, Dayveon falls under the influence of a local gang. Only there does he find the kind of understanding he’s been looking for.
As far as I’ve been able to find there’s been no poster created for the movie, which is too bad.
We meet Dayveon as we hear someone informing him his brother has been shot as the trailer opens. We see there’s one guy who wants to help him through this and take him under his wing but Dayveon is drawn into the brotherhood that’s available in the game. That causes tension in the family, of course, and puts Dayveon in the position of having to act tougher and meaner than he really is. The rest of the trailer plays out the contrast between the two influences in his life but it’s clear he’s motivated by his brother’s death, rightly or wrongly.
There’s a lot of powerful stuff here. Coming at this from the perspective of a father, it’s hard not to see Dayveon is torn and want to protect him and help him make better choices. While those better choices might be what’s “right” it’s clear writer/director Amman Abbasi is more interested in presenting some reality and not create an uplifting story arc. At least that’s what the trailer conveys.
Online and Social
The movie’s online presence is pretty limited. There’s just a page on the FilmRise website that has the trailer and some basic information about the plot and release schedule. And there’s a Facebook page that has shared some of the stories that have come out of festival screenings and the trailer.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Media and Publicity
The movie had its premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it accumulated decent buzz and where Abbasi was picked as one of the young filmmakers poised to break out of the festival. FilmRise picked it up shortly thereafter.
Unfortunately that was about it. The release of the trailer is the only other pop in press coverage for the movie.
I’ll be honest, I’ve gone back and forth over whether to cover this movie’s marketing. The lack of major press or buzz and and the fact that the campaign never seemed to actually launch has given me pause.
Ultimately I felt this is just the kind of movie that needs an extra little nudge. It seems important and one that could create an important conversation. I also feel like it’s good to support new voices in cinema.
Based on the trailer I almost get the sense that Dayveon could be along the lines of Winter’s Bone, a story about a young person on the fringes of society who’s doing what he needs to do to survive and get along in the world. The marketing may not be huge, but it’s compelling.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.