Interrogation Room 109 — A New Film by First-Time Director & Jersey City Resident
Interrogation Room 109 is a new film by Anthony Malachi. An acting veteran who has been seen on such shows as Nurse Jackie, Law & Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, Undercover Boss and Elementary, Malachi wrote, produced and directed his first film. The Miller Branch Library on Bergen Avenue held an advanced screening of his film before it will be released on to wider distribution.
Growing up in the Bergen-Lafayette area Malachi stated that “certain parts of…Jersey City were overrun with violence, which is perpetuated by society, media and lack of education.” He wanted to create a film to help educate youth, specifically at-risk youth, about the dangers of drugs and crime. “Obviously, there is some of me in the character [I play] and the things I have seen here in Jersey City. The film is meant to show that your decisions have long reaching effects and that one bad decision can lead to another one, which can lead to a worse one,” said Malachi. In that vein, he hoped that the film could be used as a vehicle to help steer urban youth towards a more positive direction.
The film’s lead actress — a long time model and first-time actress — Tayo Oredein concurred with this outlook. “I didn’t want to be in a movie that glorified the criminal life. I was drawn to this project, because it actually shows the consequences of drugs and violence. I work with urban youth and wanted them to be able see what the reality can be.” said Oredein.
The movie is titled after an interrogation room that many of the protagonists have to move through after a crime is committed. Malachi’s character, G-love, is in love with his new girlfriend Sharon, played by Oredein. The story begins with G-love on a date. In order to keep Sharon, he feels he should be making more money. To accomplish this, he teams up with street thug and drug dealer (and Sharon’s ex) Slice, to make some extra money on the side. Slice, played by actor Lance Booth, sees this as an opportunity to lash out at G-love who he feels robbed him of Sharon.
One bad decision leads the characters on a path of destruction that involves crooked cops, drugs, set-ups, murder, blackmail and regret. Malachi explained, “I wrote 109 because there are a lot people who are living beyond their means, and they end up putting themselves in extreme situations just to keep up with the Jones. This movie is meant to show that you shouldn’t get involved with certain people and activities just to impress someone. Image isn’t important at the end of the day. Your life is what’s important.”
Opening in black and white, we are quickly introduced to the characters. Gun shots ring out on the street, and the film cuts to black. The film flashes back to explain how we arrived at this position, and we are gradually drawn into these characters’ lives. We see the interconnectivity of their actions and their rippling effects. With the opening/ending deliberately vague, there is a rising sense of dread as these flawed characters hurtle to their inevitable conclusion. This story shows a stark reality where dabbling into the criminal world can lead.
You will notice recognizable Jersey City backdrops in the film, as many of the scenes were filmed on location in Jersey City, the film was shot and edited by Safiyah Smith. Interrogation Room 109 stars Anthony Malachi as G-love, Tayo Oredein as Sharon, Lance Booth as Slice, and Gil Gilead & Joey Grant as the crooked officers. The film also features local Jersey City actors Joffrey “Crash” Gant, Claude Joseph, CiCi Steed, and Rochelle Walker, as well as actors Reco Alford, Jillian Goytia, Mohammad Kamara, Juan M. Montaño, Michael Royes, and Vern Wilson.
For more information on Interrogation Room 109 visit oparkproductionz.webs.com.
Photo by Hunt Ethridge
Watch the movie trailer below: