Malcolm is a high school geek with a high-top fade, carefully navigating life in The Bottoms, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Inglewood, California. He and his fellow outcasts share a voracious appreciation for all things '90s hip-hop, opting to sport Cross-Colours and Z. Cavariccis at the risk of being clowned at school. He dreams of attending Harvard, but first he has to make it home every day. When a drug dealer takes a shine to Malcolm and invites him to his birthday party, Malcolm’s crew is swirled into a hilarious blender of offbeat characters and bad choices where redemption can only be found in Bitcoin.
Writer/director Rick Famuyiwa delivers an energetic, super-fresh, modern-day coming-of-age story that is a delightful mash-up of DIY punk, Yo! MTV Raps, YouTube, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Intelligent and full of heart, Dope is an up-to-date inspirational tale of the journey to maintain a grasp on one’s own authentic self amidst surreal circumstances. —S.F.
Rick Famuyiwa, an alumnus of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the Sundance Institute’s Writer/Director Labs, returns to the Sundance Film Festival since screening his short film thesis Blacktop Lingo. Since then, he has written and directed the cult hits The Wood, Brown Sugar,and Our Family Wedding. In 2007, he received the NAACP Image Award for his screenplay Talk to Me. Recently, he finished writing and directing Dope for Forest Whitaker’s Significant Productions.