[ DIRECTED BY ]

JOSHUA AKIN

Joshua Akin is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker currently earning his MFA in Film & TV Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Recently, Joshua directed the rock and roll dark comedy JURASSIC PUNK, one of a select group of shorts funded by USC's graduate film program, and he co-directed the 2020 Portland Film Festival selection SIGNS + WONDERS with AFI DWW alum Em Weinstein. In addition to writing and directing, he is a seasoned editor, having cut the 2020 BAFTA Student Award Shortlist-honoree DRIVEN, the Caucus Foundation TV Award-recipient SIDE EFFECTS and CLARINS X FEED, a short documentary produced by Keeley Shaye Brosnan.

Originally from rural Georgia, Joshua received a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After a brief career in acting, he discovered his true passion when venturing behind the camera to write and direct experimental shorts. Expanding to more narrative-based projects, he has sought to mine his arthouse interests to tell dynamic genre-bending stories, often combining elements of dark comedy and psychological drama.

As a precursor to directing JURASSIC PUNK, Joshua has played guitar in rock bands since he was thirteen. As an actor, he had the honor of starring in an NYU production of HAMLET and shared the Stonestreet Studios Outstanding Film Actor award with Miles Teller.

Joshua is the founder of Animal Brain Productions and a frequent collaborator at Peace Love Dope Films, a diverse filmmaking collective spotlighting underrepresented voices.

[ joshua-akin.com ]

[ DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT ]

An aging punk rocker stuck in a retirement home. The hook for Danny Brooklyn’s character drew me in immediately. It appealed to my sense of humor as well as my personal history with music, having played guitar in punk bands since I was a teenager.

 

Deeper than that, I became obsessed with the complex psychology behind Danny. A chaotic personality confined to a mundane life, forever haunted by dreams unrealized because of his own self-destructive nature. A deadbeat dad who wasn’t there for his daughter, and who himself has been abandoned in his twilight years. By giving such a character a shot a redemption, I believed Danny’s journey could not only offer up a cathartic thrill ride, but it could also serve as an opportunity to deconstruct America’s damaging obsessions with hyper-masculinity and fame.

 

One of a select group of shorts funded by USC’s graduate film program, I am honored to have taken the reigns on such a dynamic project, especially with punk legend Jack Grisham of T.S.O.L. having agreed to lend his iconic voice to the 70s-era punk songs Nathan Alexander composed for our film.

 

Led by the immensely talented Nic D’Avirro in what would sadly become his final performance, shot at underground Los Angeles punk venues by a majority female-identifying BIPOC crew, and safely completed during the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud to share the rock and roll dark comedy, JURASSIC PUNK.

 

-Joshua Akin, Director

[ CREW ]

Patrick Michael is an L.A. based filmmaker from Seattle, WA with a decade of production experience. He is a current USC MFA Candidate, and previously received his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Washington. His filmmaking interests include dramatic arthouse narratives and experimental documentaries; passionately inspired by the far-ranging works of filmmakers by the likes of Mike Leigh, Charles Burnett, and Hollis Frampton.

 

Patrick is the founder of Peace Love Dope Films. A production company whose primary goals are to amplify unheard voices through visual storytelling, and to explore the boundaries of filmmaking through the communal strength of artistic collaboration.

Based and raised in Beijing, China, Beidi Wang is now pursuing her MFA degree at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

 

Beidi was an award-winning child actor on television and in theatre. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Journalism at the University of Oregon, she now concentrates on visual storytelling through multiple media platforms.

 

Lately, she has produced a USC-funded advanced production and a project that was awarded a Sloan Grant.

An Shu is a cinematographer and director working internationally.

 

Raised in Chengdu, China, she now resides in Los Angeles, CA. Recently, she served as the director of photography for the Palm Spring International Film Festival Selection, INFLUENCERS.

 

An Shu is a current MFA film student at USC's School of Cinematic Arts and a creative partner at Peace Love Dope Films.

Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, Youssef Gouda studied theatre directing before moving to the United States to study film at Columbia College, Chicago. After college and a spell of stand-up and improv gigs, he moved to LA to pursue his masters at USC.

 

In Egypt, he directed successful runs of GLENGARRY GLENN ROSS and WAITING FOR GODOT, at the American University in Cairo. In Chicago, he also directed three films including THE JACK OF HEART'S OF SHOWS, a Fellini-esque fairy tale which was a finalist for the “Manifest” Competition at Columbia College.

Nathan Alexander has contributed original music to films, television, international ads, and music education programs. He is currently a member of renowned film composer and electronic artist Brian Tyler’s in-house team.

Nathan lives for Sci-Fi novels from the mid-20th Century, shoegaze + psychedelic rock, chess, and is an AMM ordained minister. He has seen 100+ Phish shows, but don't hold that against him.

Nathan graduated from USC's Thornton School of Music with a Master of Music in Screen Scoring.

 

[ BEHIND THE SCENES ]