Tonight at the Bowtie Movieland on Boulevard, there will be two special screenings of the indie film “Patti Cake$” featuring producer, and Richmond native, Michael Gottwald. The film will be screened at 5:35PM and 8:10PM – both screenings will be followed by a Q&A from Gottwald. Gottwald is a Collegiate graduate. He made a splash as a producer on the indie film “Beast of the Southern Wild,” which broke the sensational Quvenzhané Wallis, and was nominated for an Academy Award.

“Patti Cake$” is written and directed by Geremy Jasper and stars Australian actress Danielle MacDonald, who plays Patti. Gottwald and Jasper both attended Wesleyan, though at separate times, and have been friends for nearly a decade.  They met when Gottwald was working on his first post-college film and Jasper, who is a musician-turned director, played the lead role in that film. This is Jasper’s debut film — he wrote, directed and composed the songs.

“Patti Cake$” is the story of a hard-working aspiring rapper, who rises above her current miserable life with the help of some supportive friends and her crazy rhyme flow. The film was the darling of the Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures for $9.5 million.

I first heard of the film from New York artist and ghostwriting legend Skyzoo, who worked extensively on the film and talked about it during a press run for his new album. Gottwald serves as the producer and for him, producer “could be a combination of a number of titles or people. It just means doing and gathering whatever needs to be done or gathered for the sake of the film.” For Gottwald, it doesn’t mean financing the film, it could be a role but it’s far more varied than just funding. Gottwald did a number of tasks including helping with Jasper on the script. “In order of the director to focus strictly on his creative vision, the producer has to be the person that focused on what is needed to bring the creative vision to the screen.”

The film features a number current MCs and a few pillars in hip-hop. MC Lyte has an on-screen role in the film. Skyzoo, Kirk Knight from Pro Era, Big Body Bess (Action Bronson), Bishop Nehru, all have roles in the film. “I just hope the audience has a good time,” said Gottwald. “We always want to make a movie where people stand up and cheer at the end. I hope they have that experience.”

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