Sundance Winner A.V. Rockwell on Her Gentrification Drama ‘A Thousand and One’: ‘New York Broke My Heart’

When director A.V.

Rockwell attended Sundance in 2018, her short film “Feathers” was acquired by Searchlight and later qualified for the Oscars.

Even with that high bar, her 2023 experience at the festival exceeded expectations, as her debut feature “A Thousand and One” went home with the Grand Jury Prize for the U.S.

Dramatic Competition.A potent dose of kitchen sink realism in the pantheon of gritty New York stories, the movie stars Teyana Taylor as a struggling Harlem woman who kidnaps a child from foster care and raises him over the course of two decades.An intimate period piece that starts in 1994 and ends in 2005, “A Thousand and One” shows the filmmaker’s trenchant ability to juggle the vast themes of class and race in tandem with gentrification while maintaining a powerful emotional centerpiece built around a poignant mother-son dynamic.

Produced by Focus Features, which releases the movie in April,

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