Wednesday night, February 7th, 2018, marked the New York premiere of First We Take Brooklyn, hosted by 2B Films’ Danny A. Abeckaser at the Regal Battery Park Theater, presented by HOOCH BLACK. The film, a labor of love, is Abeckaser’s directorial debut and has been three years in the making.
In addition to starring in the film, Abeckaser co-wrote the script along with producer Jon Carlo. The film was shot in its entirety in Brooklyn and Manhattan; a comfort zone for Abeckaser, who was raised in Brooklyn.
First We Take Brooklyn is about Mikki Levy (Abeckaser), who serves a life sentence in one of Israel’s toughest prisons, thinking he’d never see the light of day. When he’s released early on a technicality, he moves to New York hoping for a fresh start. While living with his uncle in Brooklyn, the harsh reality of life as an ex-con sets in and Mikki gets dragged into a brutal turf war with the Russian mob, forcing him to revisit his dark past and the survival skills he learned in prison. Mikki aggressively ascends the ranks of the underworld but it’s his tenacious drive that may be the cause of his demise.
The film’s premiere lit up with the arrival of the leading lady, actress AnnaLynne McCord (90210), along with the whole cast, including Charlotte McKinney, Edoardo Ballerini, Kathrine Narducci (The Iceman, Sopranos), and Sasha Feldman (Get Shorty), making appearances. Scott Eastwood arrived to strike a pose in support of AnnaLynne McCord, Charlotte McKinney, and Danny A. Abeckaser. Also attending in a resounding show of encouragement were Danielle Staub (Real Housewives of New Jersey) and her daughter, model Christine Staub. “Foodgod” Jonathan Cheban (Keeping Up with the Kardashians), style expert Derek Warburton, founder of Lyda Beauty Lida Fischer, and more walked the carpet.
When asked in a short interview about what he would like people to take away from the film, Danny A. Abeckaser said, “What I really want people to see is just, get an inside glimpse of the Israeli community and see them in a different light. There is so much beauty in the culture, in the music, in the food, and the people, and the community.”
Actress AnnaLynne McCord, looking stunning in a gorgeous pants set, spoke to her role in the film: “It was definitely challenging. I would say she was a more vulnerable character then I have ever played. I felt a level of internal confrontation within myself. Peeling AnnaLynne’s tough exterior back to show Esther’s [the character] softer interior. I’m happy that I learned through the process of getting to know Esther not to judge her and just to open myself up.”
After wrapping up the premiere in the Battery Park district, the party moved uptown to TAO Group’s Marquee. The afterparty was low-key and private, consisting of music and drinks. The film’s title was projected in colorful lights everywhere from the ceiling to the floor as everyone celebrated the realization of Abeckaser’s artistic vision for his beloved passion project.
What does the future hold for First We Take Brooklyn? The film will have a national theatrical release in select theaters, beginning February 9th, 2018 in the US. Theaters in Miami and Los Angeles will open on February 16th, 2018. Video on Demand (VOD) and DVD releases have been confirmed by Sony’s home box office division for late May 2018. For any additional information regarding First We Take Brooklyn, including interview requests and exclusive images, please contact the Influence. For updates, follow the film on Instagram @FirstWeTakeBrooklyn.