Coming soon, most likely to a streaming service near you, will be a new drama film production that includes a Hernando resident as one of its cast members.
“Out of Bounds” is an independent film centered in Memphis and is written and directed by SD Green, a writer, director and producer with the TMG Film Group based in New York.
Among the film’s cast members is Maurin Penn, a Mid-South native and a resident of Hernando the past two years with his wife Jessica and their two-year-old child.
The 27-year-old Penn, trying to break into the film business, has done live theater but this was his first film production.
“I got involved in this through Facebook, believe it or not,” Penn said. “I saw an open casting call and I walked right up to my manager and said, ‘This is happening at 11 o’clock. I don’t take my lunch until 12, but I’m going.’ He said, ‘I wouldn’t stop you.’ So, I went and auditioned and got the role that way.”
The premise of Out of Bounds is about a star high school basketball player in Memphis named Travis Elliot, who is faced with saving his older brother. However, to do that, Elliot must choose between playing basketball or following a criminal path.
“Elliot gets involved in selling and dealing,” Penn said. “The whole premise of the movie is Elliot making the right choices."
“I’m not going to say it hits it on the nail, but it’s definitely in the right vicinity,” Penn said. “The film represents Memphis in many different ways through certain characters. It represents the parts of Memphis that people don’t like to talk about, but shines a light that needs to be seen.”
Producers filmed much of the movie in Memphis and the Mid-South.
Penn said he plays Agent Franklin Parker, who is a lead detective on a case to address a Memphis drug problem that weaves itself into the plot.
“Parker’s just real determined to clean the streets of Memphis up and do whatever he has to do to make it happen,” Penn said.
Penn believes the film’s location and backdrop is a reason film goers should check it out.
“You’ll recognize areas of Memphis, as well as Senatobia and it will feature some familiar faces,” Penn noted. “The movie doesn’t have a lot of big names in it, but what it has is familiar faces and that’s what is going to take the movie places.”
There was also some time spent filming in Olive Branch, in addition to the Senatobia and Memphis shoots and was primarily done in May 2018.
‘Out of Bounds’ stars rapper and film newcomer Deyonte “Tatted” Hunter as Elliot.
While the film will not likely be shown in movie theaters, it did have a debut showing at a Malco back in January, where it received praise for the acting, directing and the screenplay.
“There was a red carpet premiere in Cordova and it was a really great event,” Penn explained. “We were almost sold out. From what I’ve been told, streaming is going to be the only way to see it. It’s looking to be on some streaming sites later this spring.”
For Penn, who coming out of Kirby High School in Memphis and first thought he would be joining the Navy, acting has become his passion.
“I’m keeping my eyes open for more casting calls,” Penn said. “Absolutely, I’m looking for more film roles. This role has opened up a whole new side of acting I never got to do. It’s really challenged me as an actor. This film will open more doors.”
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.