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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Will Packer Helms Another One...

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Producer Will Packer will tackle the true story of Kemba Smith, who was granted clemency by President Clinton after serving six years on a 24-year sentence for conspiracy to sell crack cocaine.

Packer ("Stomp the Yard") picked up the life rights to Smith's story and will produce the project through his Rainforest Films shingle. He's looking for a writer; production is slated to begin on the untitled drama in 2009.

Smith, who was brought up by middle-class professional parents in Richmond, Va., had no criminal record or problems before attending Hampton University, where she met a man who ended up being the leader of a $4 million crack cocaine ring and one of the FBI's 15 most wanted.

Although the government acknowledged that Smith never sold drugs or took them, she was charged with conspiracy to distribute crack and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Clinton granted her clemency before he left office in 2000.

Packer is in pre-production on three projects with Screen Gems: The thriller "Obsessed," starring Beyonce Knowles; "Bone Deep," a crime-action drama starring Matt Dillon and Idris Elba; and the basketball drama "Phenom," starring Chris Brown and Vanessa Williams.


From IW: Dang, Will Packer is busy as a mofo. Can a negress get an application? haha

Sergio, (who emailed me this story) seems to think that ol' girl Kemba, while not directly involved, had to have some kind of cognizance about her situation. I have to say, if your man is dealing in those kinds of numbers, you have to know somethin'. No one is that sneaky and no one could be that naive. What do you think?

7 comments:

Sergio said...

Just to add one or two more points regarding the Kimba Smith case, I got today an e-mail from a friend of mine to whom I also sent the article about the Smith film project too and she said that no doubt the guy Smith was caught up with was more masculine than the "bougie" educated guys in her circle and that her parents approved of and that "women generally like a guy (even educated ones) with a little thug in him unless they're the type of woman who likes to run the show"

O.K. folks let's hear your comments

Vivrant Thang said...

First I'll say that I remember this case and I look forward to seeing it come to the big screen. I think young girls need to see this cautionary tale. I'm not familiar with this filmmaker but I'm hoping he's not going to glamorize it in any way.

With that said, I do think that Kemba had knowledge that her man was involved in shady stuff, but I don't think she was ever directly involved in moving the drugs. There is no way that he was running "The Carter" and she didn't know what was up. I think she grew up sheltered and when she got away from her parents, she went buck wild. She was guilty of being naive and wanting to live in the fast lane. He was smooth, slick and flashy and she fell for his game hook line and sinker.

As far as a woman wanting a man that's "masculine" um, sure who doesn't. Women want to feel protected. There's a HUGE difference between masculinity and thugishness.

We can't generalize here. Sure, there are some women that find that kind of thing exciting. And there's a lot that do not. Neither me nor any of my other educated, professional female friends are into thugs. Some of them actually prefer the white-collar, Brooks Brothers, manicured dude or the man at the open mike reciting poetry. Can't lump all women into one category. Men don't like it when we call them all dogs who run after white women!

Qadree said...

I don't have intimate knowledge of the case, but for a conspiracy charge you don't need to actually sell drugs or directly involved in any transactions.

From what I understand she knew that he was a fugitive and refused to give any information on his whereabouts to law enforcement in addition to actually helping him elude the law enforcement while he was on the run. She probably helped him in the planning or management of things to get a conspiracy charge.

She obviously had reason to fear for her own safety if she gave him up to law enforcement, but I have no pity for her situation. I've seen so many young woman who think that they can enjoy the excitement and money of a drug dealer without taking any of the risk, it's just another form of self-deception.

Is she a victim? In some ways she is, but she was not poor and did not need his help financially, she was trying to live a certain lifestyle that comes with a price, she knew this and decided that it was worth the risk.

The thing that I find interesting is that her background seems to make people more sympathetic and more likely to look at her as a victim. If she had done the same exact thing, but grew up in the projects and was a public school dropout, I don't think she would be getting the same kind of attention, she definitely wouldn't be getting her own film.

Danielle said...

I remember this case and thinking huh? when she was given that sentence. Insane. I'm sure she knew what was going on, it's a matter of "acknowledgment."

Invisible Woman said...

qadree: I agree with you 100%.

Reading the comments here, I guess we all know homegirl was trying to have her cake and eat it too....but as one who was raised supposedly upper middle class, I can completely understand the bad boy attraction which I had when I was very young, and she was very young at the time too.

justjudith said...

i'll comment on the other part of the story -- i remember the ridiculous sentence, but kudos to will packer and rainforest. that's awesome to greenlight your own projects.

Invisible Woman said...

@jj: he is really making moves isn't he? I just wish there were more like him...male and female.