director Carey Williams and writer KD Davila details 'EMERGENCY'



‘Emergency’ Director Carey Williams and writer KD Davila "EMERGENCY" The comedic thriller from director Carey Williams and writer KD Davila, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, is based on their acclaimed 2018 short of the same name, which also debuted at Sundance and won the fest’s Short Filmmaking Award, along with SXSW’s Grand Jury Award for Narrative Short and other accolades. It centers on straight-A college student Kunle (Watkins) and his laid-back best friend, Sean (RJ Cyler), who are about to have the most epic night of their lives. Determined to be the first Black students to complete their school’s frat party legendary tour, the friends strap in for their ultimate assignment, Solo cups in hand. But a quick pit stop at home alters their plans when they find a white girl passed out on the living room floor. Faced with the risks of calling the police under life-threatening optics, Kunle, Sean, and their Latino roommate, Carlos (Sebastian Chacon), must find a way to de-escalate the situation before it’s too late. While the feature from Amazon Studios is full of comedic moments, it’s also remarkably tense, in its presentation of a real-world nightmare, such that both its director and stars would need to prepare themselves emotionally as they headed into any given shooting day. “I soak in the project so much, I would have to literally try to meditate before I’d go to set every day,” said Williams in conversation with Davila, Cyler, Watkins and co-star Sabrina Carpenter, in an appearance at Deadline’s virtual Sundance Studio. “I’d lay in bed and listen to ambient music, and then listen to JPEGMafia in the car on the way to set to get hyped up.” Playing a major part in the success of the film was the chemistry that emerged naturally between its stars, who’d never met one another before heading into the shoot. “Donald really made the character of Kunle that much greater to Sean,” said Cyler. “You know, that’s not even fake energy. The chemistry that was built, that’s just honest friendship, and we share that as a cast.” “We had such an incredible experience all together that after we left, it really did feel like super camp was ending,” added Carpenter. “I know that sounds like 10 years old to say, but it really did feel really strange leaving everybody.”


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