Dancehall deejay Spragga Benz and Kymani Marley have signed on to play the lead roles in Cess Silvera’s upcoming urban drama, “Shottas.” The project, executed by Access Pictures, LLC, a Miami-based production company, will also feature appearances by Lennox Lewis, Wyclef Jean and Tyson Beckford, among other top names, soon to be announced.
In a recent interview, Mr. Silvera described the feature length film as “an unapologetic raw urban drama” that deals with life in the ghetto. “Friendship, loyalty and greed, are among the topics that will be explored,” he said.
Silvera who was born in Ocho Rios, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at New York University’s renown film school. “Shottas” will mark his directorial debut, although he has had experience in production with a number of projects, including the once highly rated drama “New York Undercover.”
“Shottas” will begin shooting in February. Shoot locations will include Washington DC, Miami’s south beach, and parts of Kingston. Kedar Massenberg of Universal Music is the co-executive producer, while Silvera will have a dual role as executive producer. New York-based David Michael is the film’s producer.
According to Silvera, the project will be very celebrity driven. Clifton “Specialist” Dillion will be responsible for the accompanying soundtrack album. It will feature songs from Spragga, Kymani, Wyclef, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Baby Cham, Trick Daddy, among others.
The film is the true story of two young men, Wayne (played by Spragga Benz) and Bigs (played by Marley), who grow up together in the tough and dangerous streets of Kingston. They rob a soda truck and shoot the truck’s driver while still in their early teens. The money is used to purchase visas to go the United States, where they continue their criminal activities, hustling on the streets of Washington DC. Wayne gets deported to Jamaica and continues his surge in crime, where he begins to extort money from business people. Bigs gets deported a few years later. After a while, they both head back to the US with some of their cronies and continue stealing, targeting drug dealers. The drug dealers decide to put up a strong resistance to the two.
“The film is basically about the choices you make in life and how it can affect you later on,” said Silvera.
The low budget action drama is aimed to appeal to a wide cross section of male and females between the ages of 18-34.