PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - In his last semester at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, Russell County High School graduate, Tony Williams was charged with producing a final project. It's an assignment Williams said he saw as an opportunity.
"I want to be a leader in the community, and I want to promote 'Positively Phenix City'," Williams explains.
He brought a crew, compiled of members from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Montgomery and Phenix City, to shoot his thesis film, The Rise of 2% Milk in his home town of Phenix City, and the surrounding areas.
"I'm getting training from Los Angeles, but when it comes to doing something this personal to me, I wouldn't want to do it nowhere else but at home," Williams adds.
The comedic short film jokes about a man who was adopted and raised by another family early in life. When his adopted father dies, the main character, Hunter, finds out that he is black and reverts to an alter ego named Two Percent Milk.
"Like he tells Hunter, he's the last two percent of his African American DNA," Williams says.
Williams tells us Hunter and the alter ego struggle to co-exist, but end up finding a harmonious balance.
Offering a laugh, and a lesson, Williams says the project goes hand-in-hand with Phenix City's Positively Phenix City campaign.
He adds, "you're not going to be held back from success by the color of your skin or anything like that. The only thing that holds a person back is themselves."
Shooting on the production is scheduled to wrap on Saturday, April 12. The film will be screened on May 30 at Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood, Calif. before being entered in several film competitions.
Williams says he will return to Phenix City for a public screening later this summer.