The film, which premiered at the New York Latino Film Festival, will debut on premium video-on-demand on March 2, 2021.
“After the Reign” is a satirical documentary following the newfound viral fame of social media prankster Benito Cruz, who is known to the internet as Lil Tito. When one of his high jinks gets him arrested, his following skyrockets. His notoriety inspires a career pivot into rapping, which ultimately turns sour.
Geo Santini wrote and directed “After the Reign,” which stars Rene Rosado (“The Conners”), Lisa Roumain (“Avatar”), Tiffany Daniels (“Grace and Frankie”), Jessica Meza (“East Los High”) and Scotty Tovar (“Empire”). The film was produced by MPM Productions co-founder Luis C. Arellano and Tracy Keshek.
“I’m a Hip Hop kid,” Santini said. “I grew up in the music business and I loved film. I saw where Hip Hop was going, and I wanted to do a character study on how new age rappers and fan bases have changed. We used to be fans of artists because of their music and it’s becoming more about an artist’s personality due to social media and trolling culture.”
He continued, “You may think that some of the film’s antics are too ridiculous to be realistic, but if you go on the Internet, you’ll find material that’s even more ridiculous. I wanted to examine what happens to an artist’s psyche after years of trolling and clout-chasing. What is left behind when the likes stop coming in?”
Santini’s prior credits include the short film “Partners,” which was eventually developed into a feature film. He also created the series “Geo’s Pizza” and “Borderline.”
“Social media, and the possibility for quick fame and fortune, is a cultural force and Geo’s film manages to highlight the darker side of this fame and notoriety in this clever satire,” said Megan Huggins, acquisitions coordinator for Gravitas Ventures. “Utilizing real influencers, and drawing from the headlines, he has crafted a narrative that uses humor to highlight the pitfalls of online infamy.”