The film follows South Bronx teen Kadir (Asante Blackk), a gifted visual artist who loses his way following the death of his younger brother. Overcome with grief and struggling with the pressures of school and family, he escapes into the thrilling yet dangerous world of graffiti gangs. To prove himself and join his neighborhood’s ruling gang, Kadir tries to rob no-nonsense MTA conductor Luis (Luis Guzmán), but is caught off guard when Luis agrees to give Kadir cash if he’ll sit down to have a meal with him. Following their conversation and the delicate, transformative friendship that grows out of it, Kadir sees for the first time how his artistic talent could lead to a better life.
Directed by Aristotle Torres, with script from Aristotle Torres and Bonsu Thompson, the film stars Asante Blackk, Luis Guzmán, Alex Hibbert, Melvin Gregg, Coral Peña, Cassandra Freeman, Hassan Johnson.
Aristotle Torres is a writer/director out of NYC who developed STORY AVE first as a short film and then through the prestigious Sundance Labs. An accomplished music video director in the past, Aristotle has worked with artists such as J Cole, Nas, 2Chainz, and Ludacris. He has directed commercials and campaigns for brands such as Pepsi, Red Bull, Under Armour, and Starbucks. He also has written and directed short films that have played at various festivals across the world.
“Story Ave” is SXSW 2023 winner for Special Jury Award for Cinematography.