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CROSSOVER

PRESTON A. WHITMORE, II (Writer / Director) was born and raised in Detroit. After dropping out of high school he enlisted in the Marine Corps where he acquired his GED. Upon his discharge, he settled in California where he attended Los Angeles City College and California State University Northridge. He went on to the University of Laverne School of Law where he won the coveted American Jurisprudence Award. However, realizing his true passion was elsewhere, he quit law school to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. Whitmore went on to write and direct the action film, "The Walking Dead,” starring Allen Payne, Eddie Griffin, Joe Morton, Vonte Sweet and Bernie Mac. The film chronicled the lives of four African American soldiers on a mission in Vietnam. That project led to writing and executive producing "Fled,” a fast-paced action picture starring Laurence Fishburne and Steven Baldwin as prison escapees racing to find a hidden cache of money and a computer disk.

Next, Whitmore expanded his talents with successful ventures in television and theater, writing episodes for the sitcom "Malcolm & Eddie," starring Malcolm Jamal Warner and Eddie Griffin, and writing and directing the play "Pimp," which debuted at the famed Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles. "Pimp," an acronym for Positive Individuals Making Progress, tells the story of a proudly unapologetic street hustler as remembered in the comic and poignant voices of five vastly different characters, all portrayed by Freeze Luv (aka Paul Farmer). Whitmore continued to demonstrate his diversity by producing and writing the television action crime thriller, "Blood Crime,” starring James Caan and Jonathan Schaech.

Other film projects include writing and producing two films that address the disproportionate number of African American men and women incarcerated in the U.S. penal system. "Lockdown” starred Richard T. Jones, Gabriel Casseus and De'Aundre Bonds as a trio of friends unjustly imprisoned. The film tracks the gritty dissolution of men's innocence and friendship behind bars.

Whitmore's research for "Lockdown” led to his next film, "Civil Brand,” which focused on slave-labor programs in women's prisons. The film starred LisaRaye, N'Bushe Wright, Monica Calhoun, Mos Def, Clifton Powell and DaBrat. The independent production won the Blockbuster Award for Best Film and Best Actor (Clifton Powell); the 2002 American Black Film Festival Audience Award for Best Film; and the Special Jury Prize at the 2002 Urbanworld Film Festival. It was also a selection at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. In addition to "Crossover,” Whitmore has a number of projects in development through his Los Angeles- based production company, The Preston Picture Company.

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