By Donte Slocum
This summer, TV One will premiere Runaway Island. The film revolves around troubled strangers seeking solace from the hurricane of life on a secluded island. The interwoven storylines include a pastor and his wife struggling with their faith after their daughter’s death, an engaged socialite coming to grips with the trappings of fame, and the dysfunctional relationship between a widowed grandmother and her grandson. The island resort is run by a couple who helps the residence rediscover the pillars of love and forgiveness in their lives.
While it’s nice to see Black-driven comedies and films about racial injustice finding mainstream success, it can be harder for films outside that box to break through. Runaway Island represents a different offering, a drama showcasing the struggle of healing frayed relationships.
A pastor losing his faith transcends color; the fame hungry reality star has become a 21st century trope worth exploring, and intergenerational conflict is something that will become more prominent among millennials and baby boomers. Runaway Island examines the complications of life. The two paramount themes explored in Runaway Island are healing and transforming. Life has a way cracking our sturdiest pillars and making foundations crumble. It often takes a herculean effort just to wake up in the morning. Runaway Island looks at the blessings reaped only through adverse conditions.
Runaway Island is a high prestige project for TV One. The network is showing a commitment to helping Black artists gain a foothold in the industry with unique stories. Christopher Brandt, the movie’s screenwriter, won the 2014 Black American Film Festival award for best screenplay. The network is also the sponsor for this year’s American Black Film Festival, and their development of this project paves another avenue to cultivate emerging talent.
To see a film deal with realistic issues and present a heartwarming message is not commonplace anymore. Runaway Island, directed by Dianne Houston, is a movie that should provide much food for thought. The ensemble cast includes Aisha Hinds, Lorraine Toussaint, Thomas Q. Jones, Melanie Liburd, Leon Thomas III, A. Russell Andrews and Erica Tazel.
Runaway Island will premiere Saturday, July, 25 at 8 p.m. on TV One.