Parkway Theatre is temporarily closed in response to the evolving situation with COVID-19. Learn More »

Premature

The summer before she leaves for college, Ayanna meets handsome and mysterious outsider, Isaiah; and her entire world is turned upside down as she navigates the demanding terrain of young love against a changing Harlem landscape.
February 2020
Watch Trailer

This film is no longer showing. Click here to see what's playing at the Parkway

Ticket Prices

$11 regular admission
$9 matinees (before 6pm)
$9 students/seniors/active military with valid ID
$8 MdFF Members

Sign up For Our Newsletter!


Director: Rashaad Ernesto Green

Starring: Zora Howard, Joshua Boone, Michelle Wilson, Alexis Marie Wint, Imani Lewis, and Tashiana Washington

 

2019, USA, 89 minutes, Digital, NR

Language: English

Opening Night w/ Zora Howard

Welcome writer/actor Zora Howard back to the Parkway for the 7pm opening night screening of Premature!

Zora Howard is a Harlem, NY based writer, director, and actor. Premature is her debut feature film.

Favorites from our Maryland Film Festival selections, back at the Parkway for a theatrical run!

Program Notes

Bursting open on the platform of a hot NYC subway station, Premature immediately asserts itself as a rapid coming-of-age saga that, even with its cooled down scenes of patient artmaking and non-verbal conversations, winces with the nostalgia of that special summer that went by way too fast. Shot on 16mm over the course of just three weeks in September of last year, before being edited in only two, the film retains the ecstatic immediacy of its very freshness, whilst feeling fully considered and radically familiar. Director Rashaad Ernesto Green’s story of romance speaks to the universality of young love—its carnality, obsession, heartbreak, and enduring effects—through the individual story of a young poet carrying herself through personal struggles during a fleeting summer in a changing Harlem.

In a truly stunning performance where scenes imbued with anger or agony resonate fuller due to the warm tranquility that preceded them, co-writer Zora Howard plays Ayanna; a 17-year-old poet, drifting through her final summer before college. She’s one in a pack of friends, who exchange endless, oft hilarious banter, as they saunter through the subway or ogle men at basketball courts. This is where Ayanna first eyes twenty-something Isaiah. He’s a musician and jazz connoisseur with smooth, enrapturing candor, who quickly earns her heart on a walk home from the laundromat. Their romance escalates rapidly, enjoying a flash of bliss, before surprises just as suddenly rock the course of their relationship and Ayanna’s plans.

Captured on film and composed of brilliant naturalistic dialogue, Premature sits among summer-in-the-City independents like Rhythm Thief. However, Ayanna and Isaiah’s first stroll together feels like the film’s core, and that scene instantly recalls the Before Trilogy films that influenced Green, or Sara and Duke’s walk in Losing Ground. They haven’t devoted themselves to each other yet, but it becomes obvious they will, and that this compelling romance—theirs and the film itself—is important. (Mitchell Goodrich)


OFFICIAL SELECTION

Sundance Film Festival
Maryland Film Festival

Critics' Praise

“It’s difficult, it’s scary, and it’s heartbreaking at times. That’s what Howard’s beautiful performance conveys.”
– Candice Frederick, TheWrap

“A tender ballad – not just about love but age, opportunity, timing – that gets stuck in your head.”
– Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

“Zora Howard is a breakout talent and she endows this story with grace and passion.”
– Joe Blessing, The Playlist


Watch The Trailer

Visit Film Website

Directions to the Parkway Theatre
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway is located at 5 W. North Avenue (at the intersection of North Avenue and Charles St.) in Baltimore's Station North Arts and Entertainment District
Parkway Map

Sign up For Our Newsletter!