Existence of Mattering Short Slot

Mon Feb 26, 2018 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sun Mar 4, 2018 – 12:00 pm | Bushel & Peck’s


Directed by Matthew Gentile

Narrative Short
USA | 13 min | 2017

1875, Indian Territory.

Bass Reeves, is the first African-American to be deputized by the U.S. Marshal service. His wife, Nellie Jennie Reeves, tries to persuade Bass not to leave for his own safety, but Bass argues that it’s the best job he can get to keep a roof over his family’s head.

When Bass charges into the desert, he engages in a shootout with two outlaws, Maha and Glen Huddleston, also African-American. Bass kills Maha in the gunfight, and arrests Glen, ordering him to carry Maha’s body across the desert back to Fort Smith.

Over the course of their journey, Glen questions Bass’ choice of career and tries to psych Bass out in an unorthodox attempt at escape, a tactic that works as Bass begins to question his own mind in regards to the idea of justice and choosing to fight for a law and a country that may never fight for him.

Matthew Gentile, DirectorMatthew Gentile

Matthew Gentile is a Los Angeles-based writer and director. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he earned a BA in English & Film Studies from Connecticut College and an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute.

His AFI thesis film, FRONTMAN, won the 2016 Student Emmy for Best Directing from the Television Academy Foundation, as well as the Dolby + Vizio Vision Award at AFI Fest. FRONTMAN went on to play over fifty film festivals around the world, winning a dozen prizes.

Off the strength of the film, Matthew was selected to direct a short film through the Kyoto Filmmakers Lab in Japan, which aired on NHK.

Currently, Matthew is working on his first feature, AMERICAN MURDERER.

Lawman Movie Poster

Film Information

Director: Matthew Gentile
Country: USA
Year: 2017
Language: English
Runtime: 13 min
Rated: PG-13


Writer: Josh Aichenbaum
Cinematographer: Kalilah Robinson
Lance Reddick, Tory Kittles, Erica Tazel

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Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival