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EXCLUSIVE: Forest Whitaker & Rick Famuyiwa Dish On Making ‘Dope’: “There’s No Such Thing as Black Film”

Rick Famuyiwas highly anticipated film, Dope is a must-see movie for 2015.

The coming of age film has elements of Boyz n the Hood but the use of technology, a culturally diverse cast and correlation to current events makes the storyline universal.

READ MORE: WATCH: Trailer for Dope with Zoe Kravitz, A$AP Rocky, Chanel Iman & Quincy Brown

Though the cast is predominately African American with stars like Shameik Moore, rapper A$AP Rocky, Zoe Kravitz, model Chanel Iman and Quincy Brown, the film’s director, Famuyiwa exclusively told Cocoa Fab, “…there’s no such thing as a ‘black film'”.

A photo posted by Shameik Moore (@meaksworld) on

READ MORE: CASTING NEWS: “It” Girl, Zoe Kravitz To Star In New Western Film

Oscar Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker, and business partner Nina Yang Bongiovi helped Famuyiwa secure the funding for the film.  Bongiovi revealed that she and Whitaker have a group of financiers in Asia who trusted their instincts after they successfully produced the critically-acclaimed Fruitvale Station starring Michael B. Jordan.

READ MORE: Mehcad Brooks Joins Micheal B. Jordan In Diversifying Superhero Characters

“We also had another film that was in Sundance and Cannes along side Dope called Songs My Brother Taught Me about Native American youth. As producers, we’re about diversifying our slate and being able to take on filmmakers that we care about and make their vision happen” Bongiovi said.

Whitaker says that he was able to identify with the characters in the film having grown up in what some would consider a rough neighborhood of South Central, Los Angeles as well as Carson, CA.

“[Dope] takes you on a ride; it’s fun, it’s funny, it’s surprising and it’s hopeful. The film tells you that you can accomplish your dreams as well as maintain your voice even under those crazy circumstances” he said.

A photo posted by Rick Famuyiwa (@rickfamuyiwa) on

“Theres also a strong message about profiling that comes out at the end of the movie with Malcolm…I think it will start to change our perceptions of others, it’ll turn those assumptions on it’s head. You’ve got A$AP Rocky who’s a drug dealer but also a geopolitical philosopher; a Harvard alum who’s manipulating the neighborhood; then a Caucasian hippie-drug dealer who’s the most brilliant of them all” he explained.

READ MORE: CASTING NEWS: Forest Whitaker Snags Two New Gigs

“The main characters are 90s retro so you think they’ll listen to hip-hop but they have a punk rock band and they live in the hood. It’s all these different elements of the film that make you have to question the way you perceive people.”

Dope hits theaters Friday, June 19th.

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