Stefan Daily (Austin Marshall) has a black mom and Latino dad, and he’s a nerd. Like most nerds he likes to do nerdy things like write, play on his computer, hang out with his friends from theater class, and obsess about the pretty, popular girl at his school. His best friend, sarcastic and sassy Laura (Devyn Ray), has a little bit of a crush on him but Stefan is, of course, completely oblivious. As Laura’s laid back weed-smoking hippie dad, Danny Trejo is perfect. It’s rare that the ex-con gets to play a character that is not completely terrifying, but Blacktino proves he’s got the acting chops to play all sorts of roles.
Blacktino is that rare teen movie that gets it right. The characters are caught somewhere between adulthood and childhood, hating high school but trying to have fun. They are immature and naive but sensitive to the world around them. The director, Aaron Burns, drew from his own experiences as a “blacktino nerd” and injects smart social commentary about race into the storyline. At the same time, it’s hilarious and sweet, just like a teen comedy should be.
The film’s tagline says it all: “Sad, fat, black, Latino, nerd. It doesn’t get any worse than that.”
Director: Aaron Burns