MisterDuke Productions has joined forces with LT4 Productions, an independent film production and consultation company based in Louisville, KY, to produce the upcoming sci-fi narrative short Fatherless, about a young physicist with a troubled past who seeks to develop time travel in an attempt to fix his childhood. As he discovers his theory may be more practical than he originally expected, he must choose between repairing his own life and fixing the lives of others. Fatherless stars award-winning actor Chad Eric Smith alongside Michael Mau. William M. Crouch wrote the original screenplay and was the film's director. Clifton Radford served as Director of Photography. Fiscal sponsorship provided by the Louisville Film Society. Principal photography took place in July 2019.
Early viewers have spoken highly of the film’s emotional performances and beautiful cinematography. Harold Jackson III, the award-winning writer and director of Last Night (2014) and Unarmed Man (2019) stated after viewing, “When movies are at their best this is what they do. They make you think outside and inside of yourself. Fatherless does an awesome job of this.” Fatherless made its world premiere at the Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmaker Festival on February 29, with Chad Eric Smith winning the Best Performance award. The film has also been named a finalist at the 2020 TIVA DC Peer Awards (March 20, 2020) and is an official selection for the 10th Annual Charlotte Black Film Festival where it will screen in April 2020. More than a dozen other festival submissions are still pending.
Chad Eric Smith’s portrayal of Logan Avery earned the festival award for
"Best Performance" in February 2020.
Fatherlessness has become an epidemic in America, with roughly 25% of all children growing up without the consistent influence of a dedicated father figure. For generations, we have tried to turn a blind eye to this issue, hoping it would rectify itself in time. Unfortunately, this trend has continued and creates long term effects that hinder the lives of its victims, the children. Numerous studies have demonstrated fatherless children demonstrate an exponentially-higher likelihood of engaging in gang activity, developing substance dependency issues, requiring treatment for serious mental health issues, attempting suicide, maintaining unhealthy relationships, and creating problems in friendships and family relations. While fatherlessness has become a staple in representations of our culture, these depictions rarely open the dialogue on how we as a society can aim to solve the problem and help the victims. Fatherless aims to do just that, prompting an important discussion and promoting the need for change.