Premature opens in theaters this Friday 2/21 at the IFC Center
Last night we sat down to a private screening of PREMATURE, a Harlem born love story, directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green and co-written by / starring Zora Howard at the CORE Club in Midtown, NY.
PREMATURE is Rashaad’s second feature that first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019. His first film, Gun Hill Road, gained national distribution at Sundance back in 2011 which is a rare feat for independent filmmakers. He has since been honored with the 2020 Independent Spirit’s Award and is also nominated for the John Cassavetes Award.
Following the screening was a Q+A panel with both Rashaad Ernesto Green and Zora Howard.
“Zora and I worked on a short film when I was in graduate school at NYU that was called Premature that I cast Zora in as the lead about a young woman who gets pregnant in the Bronx and how she has to deal with it within her family and community. When we were writing this love story, themes from the short story and themes from the characters and setting began to creep in and influence our process and the two became one” said Rashaad as he described developing his short film into a full length feature.
Harlem, New York plays a massive role in the narrative for our main characters Ayanna (Zora Howard) and Isaiah (Joshua Boone) acting as a third character in this love triangle. Co-writer and actress Zora Howard expressed the importance of using Harlem as the central location.
“That’s home. The shape of what we wanted to create started to take form. There were certain building blocks and things that we already knew. It was definitely going to be a love story, it was definitely going to focus on Ayanna (my character’s) point of view, her journey, and it was definitely going to be set in Harlem. As Rashaad was saying he’s been living in the neighborhood for the past two decades, I’ve been there my entire life and I think when we meet Ayanna, she’s 17 years old, she’s at this very unique point in someone’s life, on the edge. You’re about to leave home, the world out there is big out there and new, but that home is so much of who Ayanna is. For me, that’s what Harlem was at 17, Harlem was home. I was torn because I loved it so much but knew there was so much more out there for me as well.”
PREMATURE explores themes of love, loss, and a young woman’s metamorphosis.
For upcoming PREMATURE screenings, visit www.prematurefilm.com