Draft Night

How the American Dream becomes an American Nightmare

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Production
Director: Tom Glinkowski
Writer/"Pops": Shawn Williams
"Number One": Joseph David-Jones
"Caldwell": Justin Prentice
"Mama": Gloria Stingily
"Cousin": Destiny Ekwueme
Producer: Jillian Nordby, Sierra Oleson, Avery Chung-Melino
Cinematographer: Kenzen Takahashi
Production Designer: Erin E. Riegel
Costume Designer: Amanda Ramirez
Editor: Tuan Quoc Le
1st Assistant Director: Grace Gaither
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A young Black basketball prodigy struggles with the burden of single-handedly saving his family from hardship on the night of the NBA draft.


Draft Night explores the inner world of a young athlete striving to “save” his family and community, and the toll which the pursuit of that success takes on his personal identity and self-worth.

We experience the night of the NBA Draft through the eyes of a young draft prospect, known to us only as Number One. He rides an emotional roller coaster of expectations, pressure, and ego as he’s passed over by NBA teams again and again. Ill-equipped to deal with the perceived failure and the weight of his own ambition, our athlete’s frustration builds and boils over. Defeated, and seemingly alone and unable to openly speak his mind, he lashes out internally at an uncomfortable truth of the sports industrial complex.

Meet the Filmmakers

Tom Glinkowski – Director
Tom Glinkowski’s career began at Marvel Studios during the first three phases of the MCU. Working on that iconic franchise gave him the opportunity to learn storytelling, production, and creative direction from some of the most talented professionals in the business. In Phase 2 of his own career, he worked directly with a number of accomplished filmmakers including writers Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick, Oscar-winning director Tom McCarthy, and Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning writer Brian Yorkey. Tom most recently creatively produced Netflix’s limited series Echoes and all four seasons of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.

Shawn Williams – Writer/”Pops”
Shawn Williams is an actor, writer, and director. His appreciation for versatility is what encourages him to play a variety of roles, ranging from Paul in Six Degrees of Separation, to Aaron in Titus Andronicus. Shawn is an eight-time champion of the Manhattan Monologue Slam Competition, which he credits for giving him a platform to develop his solo show, Shape Shifter. Shawn also teaches Shakespeare and scene study for the world-renowned Stella Adler Conservatory, where he recently directed a production of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? His arts education experience extends through his work with Bank Street College of Education and ArtsConnection, and as a proud member of Family Life Theatre (FLT).

Joseph David-Jones – “Number One”
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Kentucky, Joseph David-Jones is a dynamic film and television actor and up-and-coming musician. He most recently starred as Jharrel in The CW’s 4400. On the film side, Joseph’s credits include Detroit, Roman J. Israel, Esq., and Allegiant. And on television, David-Jones starred in The CW’s Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow as well as CMT’s Nashville. David-Jones finds joy filling his downtime with various musical endeavors and by sponsoring the Save the Children Foundation, which brings support and necessities to children living in underprivileged environments.

Kenzen Takahashi – Cinematographer
Kenzen Takahashi is a cinematographer based out of Los Angeles. He got his start as a union grip, learning to light from renowned professionals on productions such as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, The Matrix Resurrections, and All the Old Knives. From there, Kenzen went on to shoot short films, music videos, commercials, and most recently, a feature film starring Shiloh Fernandez and John Farley. Kenzen’s work has been featured in articles by Sony and DoPchoice. His following on social media continues to grow as people delve into his insight on the craft of cinematography.

Erin E. Riegel – Production Designer
Erin E. Riegel is an LA-based art director and designer. She most recently art directed Netflix’s upcoming series A Man In Full. Her previous credits include art director on Paramount’s Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Amongst Thieves, Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, assistant art director on Ford V Ferrari, DC’s Birds of Prey, Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel, FOX’s The Last Man on Earth (season 4), ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder (seasons 2 & 3), CBS’s Hunted, and ABC’s Scandal (season 6).

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