Common To Executive Produce Social Justice Thriller ‘Grassland’

Common is putting on his executive producer hat for a new thriller that takes on criminal justice reform surrounding low-level marijuana possession charges.

The Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar-winning rapper and actor is using his social impact film division Free to Dream to executive produce the social justice film “Grassland,” The Wrap reports. Set in 2008 during an economic recession and Barack Obama’s historic presidential run, the film follows a single Latina mother (Mía Maestro) who runs an illegal marijuana business with a young Black man (Quincy Isaiah).

The business faces danger when her son befriends the young boy who moves into the neighborhood with his police officer grandfather (Jeff Kober). The thriller is set to make its world premiere as the Closing Night Film at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival on Sunday, June 2.

William Bermudez and Sam Friedman make their directorial debuts in the film produced by David Goldblum and Adam Edery. Joining Common on the executive producer team are Paul Blavin, Amy Blavin, Mara Burros Sandler, Marie Cisco, and Exit 14’s Sam Silverstein and Jeremy Paczos.

“Grassland” doesn’t only serve as an social justice film aimed at raising awareness. It also packs on an advocacy campaign which tackles federal and state-level criminal justice reform and the estimated 40,000+ Americans still in prison on low-level marijuana possession charges. All the while, the legal cannabis industry is estimated to reach $34 billion in 2024.

Common’s Free to Dream along with The Last Prisoner Project serve as the film’s non-profit advocacy partners. Together, the teams worked to provide paid opportunities to those directly impacted by the flawed criminal justice system.

Opportunities included “hiring crew members who were formerly incarcerated, hiring consulting producers with lived experience with the criminal legal system and curating special programming during production meetings on set, where guest speakers came to share their experience with incarceration.”

To keep the conversation going, Free to Dream in partnership with lifestyle brand Shinola will host a multi-city screening tour in colleges and under-represented communities with panel discussions featuring activists in the cannabis equity space.

RELATED CONTENT: Common Pulled Into Tiffany Haddish’s Defamation Lawsuit With Former Friend

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