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‘I Am Gangster’ Drama Bought by FilmBuff

FilmBuff has acquired the drama “I Am Gangster” on the eve of the movie’s West Coast premiere at the Dances With Films festival, Variety has learned exclusively.

The deal is the first acquisition announced at the Los Angeles-based fest, which concludes its 19th version on Sunday. FilmBuff will release “I Am Gangster” worldwide on all VOD platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu, later this year.

The story centers on three young men in East Los Angeles trying to survive on a daily basis: an idealistic rookie cop, a hardcore gang member and a rebellious teenager who flirts with gang life.

Moritz Rechenberg directed from his own script, co-written with Caroline Chang, Mark McKeown and Kelly Parker. Ralf Weinfurtner is producing.

The movie originated from a collaboration with members of the Teen Club of Hazard Park in East Los Angeles, when Rechenberg and club members created a short film called “Ticked” in 2008.

Veteran actors Marlene Forte and David Barrera star along with Rick Mancia (“East Los High”), Gilberto Ortiz (“Lady Dynamite”) and first-timer Abraham Bobadilla.

“Our collaboration with the youth, the leaders, families and community in East Los Angeles is key to the film, and we are proud to have been able to work with them in making the feature,” said Rechenberg.

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