It’s one day after the Miami Heat reclaimed the NBA Championship for a second year in a row. The city is still sizzling with energy and excitement, which only adds to the anticipation of the night’s American Black Film Festival premiere of The Magic City taking place at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.
Local film Director Malcom R. Jonesis happy for his city, but as he makes his way down the red carpet, he wonders how the ABFF audience will receive his feature film, The Magic City. The coming of age movie is a first for Jones, who also wrote the film. Jones earned his film credibility as a music video director.
“The movie breaks the stereotypes that are typically made about people of color,” Jones says. The Fort Lauderdale resident says he isolated himself to write the script. He turned off his main phone and maintained one line of communication for family members only. It’s taken roughly three years (from concept to red carpet) to get to this moment. Jones believed in his story so much that he partly financed it out of his own savings.
Jones says he was inspired to write this story because of his own difficult upbringing, which was met with financial challenges and joy.
Closely behind Jones is executive producer and Miami Heat NBA Champion Udonis Haslem. Haslem, who was raised in Miami, says he’s happy to support new talent like Jones, and he’s also happy to bring attention to Miami through this film, which journeys through areas such as Liberty City and Overtown.