Hillside production company tackles black families and addiction in first movie release

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NEWARK, NJ — Lions Vision Productions Studios, a black-owned production company located in Hillside, held a private screening on Dec. 8 at CityPlex 12 Newark of its first feature film, “The Lions Vision Productions Addiction Trilogy: Conflicted. Addicted. Convicted.” The film was written, directed and produced by LaTia McNeely-Sandiford, author of the memoir, “Burdens in My Backpack,” chronicling her life as the child of heroin addicts who loses her entire family to addiction. The film has been submitted to the Sundance, Atlanta, Tribeca and Pan African film festivals.

The trilogy follows the journey of a rising star urban youth, played by Newark native Al-Tariq Linton, who has recently graduated from college and signed a recording contract. He is pressured to indulge in drugs by his wayward older brother, played by Newark native Haneef Jones. That decision changes the trajectory of his life and leads him to becoming addicted. Mayhem ensues, he’s arrested and on the verge of being convicted, when he’s given an ultimatum by the judge.

The film also stars an ensemble cast of new actors: Kirk Charles, Karen Stanford, Ralph Mackensie and Lacee Harper. This film was produced by Lions Vision Productions Studios with executive producers McNeely-Sandiford and Roger Sandiford.

“We’re so happy to be hosting a private screening of this film in Newark,” McNeely-Sandiford and Sandiford said in a joint statement. “This film shows the difficulties of urban youth to excel when the environment is working against them. It’s a real story of influence in the home, how dreams get deferred and how one poor decision can change your life.”

For more information about Lions Vision Productions Studios, visit lvpnj.com.

Photos Courtesy of LaTia McNeely-Sandiford