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Coming off his success with Black Heart on the film festival circuit this past summer, indy film Producer/Director, Kenya Cagle wrote Brooklyn Gangster – The Jose Lucas Story, an action-packed drama based on a true story fictionalized for the screen, and co written by Executive Producer Nisha Parham. Cagle, who also helped write the screenplay for Lucas, and has done true-life stories he’s adapted to film before, says about the production on The Jose Lucas Story that it’s “…my best film ever…because it’s what I think I’m good at—action, suspense, conflict, drama…this picture is gonna surprise a lot of people.” Cagle has his devoted fans, and a loyal cast and crew of colorful souls that follow him from project to project, grueling shoot, to grueling (read: guerilla) shoot, anxious to have worked hard enough to win a spot on the next film-likely to begin casting before editing is done on the last film. This man is unstoppable.
Note the debut appearance of “take no prisoners” Executive Director and Screenwriter, Nisha Parham. This is her first credited roll in a Kenya Cagle film production. As Executive Producer (and his wife), Nisha Parham is known as “austerity” herself, keeping the production on a very short budget-leash. She has been one among many fans that help keep the film rolling, put butts in the seats from screening to screening, film to film since Cagle’s earliest filmmaker days.
But with Brooklyn Gangster – The Jose Lucas Story, Nisha Parham is front and center. She is a witness to the backstory, a constantly clarifying voice reminding everyone on the film whose story they are telling and why. Nisha was there, she is the embodiment of this tragic family, their historic memory, it’s more than a film to her. Because despite his exploits, his criminal notoriety, Jose Lucas was her own cousin. She was his conscience. He was like her beloved, but troublesome child.
Kenya and Nisha’s daughter, Precious Parham, who played Karalee in Father Dad (2006), and had a role in Kenya Cagle’s web series, Thug Kids, where she appears with acclaimed Jazz artist Monet Dunham (who also plays the poisonous Jackie in this film) plays Tenisha (Nisha in real life) and delivers an outstanding performance here playing her mother. Die-hard Kenya Cagle-files will recognize Precious also as the smart kid/young woman appearing in every Cagle short film. Kenya’s son, Kenyae (kin-yay) Cagle play’s his father, Tenisha’s suitor, marshall arts devotee, cum filmmaker, Kenya. Kenyae is also a regular actor in all his father’s films.
This family means to own this story: Mother, Daughter, Father, Son—prematurely deceased cousin.
This is a hot crew indeed. ALERT: You Must get this flick today. With this film Cagle might be starting and imprinting indy film with a new genre of urban film: the “Real-Tale Urban Drama,” or the “Did Happen” film. In any case, the newest generation of Hip Hop culture anthropologic.