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Dennis Williams II’s new short film ‘Clout’ is Atlanta’s ode to ‘Hustle & Flow’

Dennis Williams and Jesse Martin of Clout

Filmmakers Dennis Williams and Jesse Martin. (Photo courtesy of Campsight Studios)

The 18-minute short film Clout follows a group of college kids intent on making it in the music industry. In addition to the usual promotion, the group stages mini-concerts in the parking lots of the nation’s largest music festivals.

Rolling out recently caught up with the two brilliant minds behind Clout — writer-director Dennis Williams II and executive producer Jesse Martin. The duo explained how the short film is a nod to the 2005 movie Hustle & Flow and their hopes to turn their short film into a full-length feature.

Tell us about the project and how you came up with the concept.

Dennis Williams: Clout is about a group of under-resourced kids in Atlanta. They are trying to break their way into the music scene, so they crash the biggest festivals and have their own surprise shows. In the short film — that will ultimately become a feature — the kids are trying to crash Bandofest, an actual event series that we do. It’s our ode to Hustle & Flow in the ATL. It’s that entrepreneurial story about the greatness of the hustle.

Actor Denzel Whitaker made an impact in Black Panther. What was it like working with him?

DW: Denzel is great. Prior to pre-production for Clout, he was filming the TV series “The Purge” at the time. Our project was obviously lower-budget than the network, but he made sure to take the time to come shoot with us. He was so easy to work with and willing to believe in this story that we’re trying to tell.

Continue to the next page to read more and watch the official trailer.

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