Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

Imperial Dreams

Year: 2014
Country: United States
Run Time: 87 minutes

Imperial Dreams
Imperial Dreams
Imperial Dreams
Imperial Dreams
Imperial Dreams

“You can’t splash back into the projects, you gotta slide in,” narrates 21-year-old Bambi Jones as he walks through the Watts neighborhood in South Los Angeles. Bambi, convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, has just been released from jail, but he has no plans of returning to his former lifestyle. In prison, Bambi diligently honed his writing, and he even published a short story in the literary journal McSweeney’s. Now Bambi has aspirations of acquiring a book deal. Yet dreams are hard to achieve in his crime-ridden neighborhood. Bambi desperately needs money to care for his son Day, whose mother Samaara is also in prison for a non-violent crime. And despite Bambi’s intentions to stay clean, his slimy uncle Shrimp has been pressuring him to smuggle drugs across state lines. In Malik Vitthal’s compelling debut feature film IMPERIAL DREAMS, Bambi may know how to slide into the projects, but he has yet to learn how to get out. – E.B.

CIFF39 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 8:45 PM -
Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 10:15 PM

Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 5:00 PM -
Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 6:25 PM

Monday, March 23, 2015 at 11:45 AM -
Monday, March 23, 2015 at 1:10 PM

African Diaspora

American Independents Competition

Malik Vitthal

Born in Los Angeles, writer-director Malik Vitthal is a graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. In 2014, IMPERIAL DREAMS debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Best of Next! Audience Award.


Katherine Fairfax Wright, Jonathan Schwartz, Andrea Sperling

Malik Vitthal, Ismet Prcic

Monika Lenczewska

Suzanne Spangler

Principal Cast
John Boyega, Rotimi Akinosho, Glenn Plummer, Keke Palmer, De'Aundre Bonds, Justin Coach, Ethan Coach, Anika Noni Rose, Sylvester Carter

Film Contact

Community Partners

Community Assessment and Treatment Services

Towards Employment

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