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“Dough Boys” is a tough, hard-hitting drama about a group of friends who step up their street game which leads them into more trouble than they bargained for.  Inspired by true events, this film goes beyond the title, the plot and even the characters. “Dough Boys” is the first film to emerge from GIVE BACK RAISE UP, a program founded by Preston A. Whitmore II (“This Christmas,” “Doing Hard Time,” “Crossover”).

Whitmore is very serious about filmmaking and reaching back to help others. His program funds independent films and gives up-and-coming directors, actors and filmmakers the opportunity to utilize their creative skills. Whitmore has pledged to continue to finance and produce low budget pictures to provide a showcase for talented newcomers both in front of and behind the camera.
He is a part of that new breed of filmmakers who are taking their resources and giving back “in the now” instead of later.

“Dough Boys” premiered at this year’s Hollywood Black Film Festival and captivated its audience with its compelling story about four friends who specialized in petty crimes in their neighborhood. Believing themselves to be more streetwise than they really are they decide to follow a lead that would reap in a big score.

Cory Hardrict (“Gran Torino”) as Smooth, Arlen Escarpeta as Corey, Maurice McRae (“The King”) as Black, and Lorenzo Eduardo (“The Hammer”) as Long Cuz run a pretty sweet game as smalltime street thugs. Careful to follow the rules of the street, like most small timers they look for that one crime that will change their lives and get them off the streets permanently.

One in particular has dreams of going to college to major in graphic design and is in a loving relationship with a young woman who is already in college. Very much in love, he can’t understand what she sees in him, but he’s grateful that she’s in his life. Another wants to be a DJ and smoke weed all the time, yet another wants to live in New York after visiting the fast paced city, and then there is the one who just yearns for the “bling, bling.” But the lure of the streets and the desire to have more colors their dreams and ambitions a hard lesson teaches friendships of this nature can be deadly.

They consider themselves real bad asses until they make one fatal flaw; they mess with the wrong man’s property. Wood Harris (“The Wire”) stars as a very dangerous, nasty man that teaches the boys a very terrifying lesson.

The boys find themselves literally running for their lives after a frightening game of cat and mouse. All of a sudden lines are crossed and friends turn against friends and then it’s each man for himself.

The film is fast-paced, with unexpected twists and turns, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. It truly keeps your attention as you see human nature unravel as the streets and the cops close in on our young brothers.

This is a fine first film for the GIVE BACK RAISE UP program and the feature film debut of director Nicholas Harvell.

“Dough Boys” is coming to DVD on June 16; it is well worth your investment.

-Gail can be reached at