Director Tackles Informant Controversy in New Film Five.K.One
Veteran actor Clifton Powell and Bay Area emcee Yukmouth are among the ensemble cast of Dioncel “Donny” Armstrong’s film Five.K.One, which addresses a controversial informant law.
The movie takes its name from the federal sentencing mandate that gives more lenient sentencing to informants who have committed murder, robbery, or drug conspiracy.
The narrative follows best friends Tiger (rapper Forty Da Great) and Remo (Melvin Jackson, Jr of The Wire), who form the street crew Self Made Bosses (SMB), specializing in drugs, murder, and money.
The organization’s problems begin due to a federal indictment, and Remo’s desire to go legitimate and focus on family life.
Clifton Powell plays the role of a nightclub owner in debt to the SMB, while Yukmouth takes the character of a vicious hitman.
A veteran entertainment entrepreneur who launched his career with the popular independent project Street Life: The Documentary, Armstrong’s inspiration for the film derives from witnessing the federal informant laws effects of urban communities around the country.
“The whole 5K1 snitch [law], nobody ever told it like it is in this movie, how easy it is for a person that’s a snitch to commit all types of crimes and still get off,” Armstrong told AllHipHop.com. “I wanted to tell that side of the story, so this film really tells it without the people pressuring me to change [it]. Soon as I sent it out to distributors and they wanted me to change things like the ending, I decided right then and there to go independent.”
Ironically, the film’s star Forty da Great is in incarcerated due to information provided under the 5K1 law. Armstrong also revealed how he narrowly avoided the same fate before his transition into entertainment.
“My man Forty da Great who is the star of the movie is incarcerated right now because of the same law. Somebody snitched on him and it’s crazy and shows how real it is. This happened before the movie was even shot,” Armstrong detailed. “People need to take responsibility for what they are doing. If 5 people are out there committing crimes together and everyone gets caught, all of them should go to jail. But if only one gets caught, he or she has to understand that they have to go because they got caught. I’m not in the street game, but I’m a product of it. All my family was in it, but I just found something [positive] to do. My years in the street only caused me grief. The person who snitched on me just so happened to not show up in court so I was blessed. I put a little piece of that in the film to show how easy it is for someone to make up a story to the police and have it believed.”
With artists such as Forty da Great and Yukmouth playing significant roles, Five.K.One is a film with direct ties to Hip-Hop music.
Regarding distribution, Armstrong plans to involve overlooked outlets such as barbershops and clothing stores, by allowing them to share profits of the film by advertising at their businesses.
Five.K.One debuts January 19, 2010, and will be accompanied by a soundtrack, and behind the scenes book. For more information, visit www.fivekone.com.