Imperial Dreams


2014, 90 minutes, color, U.S.A.

Audience Award: Best of NEXT

Bambi wants to publish his credos and chronicles and start his career the way any other normal young writer would. For Bambi, however, normal is the quandary. “Normal” means returning to Watts, Los Angeles, after a 28-month jail stint to find his young son playing next to his strung-out grandmother. It’s normal for the patriarch of his family to offer Bambi pills, guns, and a drug-running job as a way to welcome him home. A normal visit from his cousin involves Bambi and son performing minor surgery to extract a bullet from his arm. Bambi meets this surreal, ghetto normal with equanimity, but he knows life can’t be “normal” like this for long.

Malik Vitthal’s radiant debut feature leavens hardcore gangster life with a warm and earnest humanity. Featuring a breakout performance by John Boyega as Bambi and an inspired rhythmic score by composer Flying Lotus, Imperial Dreams ignites a passion for redemption that transcends circumstance.

Director: Malik Vitthal

Screenwriters: Malik Vitthal, Ismet Prcic

Producers: Jonathan Schwartz, Andrea Sperling, Katherine Fairfax Wright

Executive Producers: Zygi Wilf, Audrey Wilf

Cinematographer: Monika Lenczewska

Editor: Suzanne Spangler

Co-producer: Bobby Yay Yay Jones

Composer: Flying Lotus

Principal Cast: John Boyega, Rotimi Akinosho, Glenn Plummer, Keke Palmer, De'Aundre Bonds

About the Director

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Malik Vitthal graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. He cowrote Imperial Dreams, which was developed at the 2011 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, where it received the Time Warner Storytelling Grant, the Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship, and the Zygmunt and Audrey Wilf Foundation award. In 2012, Vitthal participated in the Jerusalem International Film Lab as well as the Film Independent Producers Lab. Imperial Dreams marks his feature directorial debut.


1/20/2014 8:45 pm
Library Center Theatre, Park City
1/21/2014 11:30 am
The MARC, Park City
1/23/2014 3:00 pm
Broadway Centre Cinema 6, SLC
1/24/2014 11:45 am
Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
1/25/2014 12:00 pm
Sundance Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort