Finally! On Friday, May 14, Mikey Alfred’s feature-length directorial debut, North Hollywood, will hit VOD. That’s after a month of screenings via the Illegal Civ site, and after loads of rejections from the industry when it was time to talk distribution. It’s a major win for the independents, and honestly, a major win for film lovers, as Alfred’s keen eye and the acting talents of star Ryder McLaughlin opposite Vince Vaughn, Miranda Cosgrove, and others marks one of the better theatrical experiences of 2021.
The film, which finds McLaughlin (Mid90s) playing Michael, a kid who’s mission is to become a pro skater. And where other films have failed to truly capture what that life is like—the marathon sessions, the animosity between a dreamer and their parent, love, homies—in one unique tale. Alfred’s vision is right there, from music choices to the look and costuming to the performances from McLaughlin and Vaughn (who plays Michael’s father, and is based on Alfred’s father) battling it out.
Even if you aren’t a skater or have no idea of that lifestyle, the film’s opening sequence—which we have available for you up above. The camaraderie of the guys is on full display, but again, pay attention to how the story is presented early on. The authenticity. It’s a tour-de-force for the kids who’ve been stepped over. Long live North Hollywood.
Check out the full North Hollywood trailer and synopsis down below, and be sure to catch it on VOD on Friday, May 14..
NORTH HOLLYWOOD follows Michael (Ryder McLaughlin) as he tries to answer the question every high school kid faces when they graduate: What’s next? Michael’s best friends already seem to have it figured out; one is going to college, and the other is going to work, but Michael is caught somewhere in between. He’s an aspiring professional skateboarder with the talent to back it up, but his blue collar father, Oliver (Vince Vaughn), thinks it’s a pipe dream. Oliver wants Michael to either get a college degree and pursue a more conventional career, or join him in the construction business. Over the course of the film Michael is torn in multiple directions: Should he go to college or get a job? Should he chase the career of his dreams or go for the girl? Should he choose the life that his dad wants or the life that he wants?
Confronted with the uncertainty of his future—and how it might impact his friends and family—Michael takes steps to build relationships with professional skaters in an effort to forge his own path. While this decision initially deepens the rifts in Michael’s personal life, he ultimately gains the support and acceptance he needs from his loved ones—including his dad.