Akilla's Escape

Akilla's Escape is a drama film, directed by Charles Officer and released in 2020.[2] The film stars Saul Williams as Akilla, a marijuana dealer retiring from the business following legalization, who tries to rescue a young boy (Thamela Mpumlwana) from being drawn into a life of crime.[2]

Akilla's Escape
Akillas escape xlg.jpg
Film poster
Directed byCharles Officer
Produced byJake Yanowski
Written byCharles Officer
Wendy Motion Brathwaite
StarringSaul Williams
Thamela Mpumlwana
Vic Mensa
Music byRobert Del Naja
Saul Williams
CinematographyMaya Bankovic
Edited byAndres Landau
Canesugar Filmworks
Release date
  • September 12, 2020 (2020-09-12) (TIFF)[1]
Running time
90 minutes

The film, which Officer began writing in 2010, was inspired by the police crackdown on the Toronto chapter of the Shower Posse crime gang.[2] Its cast also includes Vic Mensa, Oluniké Adeliyi, Ronnie Rowe, Theresa Tova and Brandon Oakes.

The film premiered in the Planet Africa program at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.[3]


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 81% based on 21 reviews, with an average rating of 7.17/10.[4]

Writing for Now and The Georgia Straight, Norman Wilner wrote that "Officer does something else with Akilla’s Escape that I’m hesitant to discuss, but when you see it you’ll hopefully be as stunned and impressed as I was. It’s not a plot twist, but rather a creative decision that pays off absolutely brilliantly over the course of the movie, giving flesh to its central metaphor and making the story play on at least two different levels above and beyond what happens in the narrative."[5]


  1. ^ "Akilla's Escape". TIFF. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Radheyan Simonpillai, "Planet Africa returns for TIFF 2020". Now, August 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Rachel West, "TIFF Unveils More Films, Including David Oyelowo’s Directorial Debut, In Conversation With Halle Berry, Saoirse Ronan, More". ET Canada, August 25, 2020.
  4. ^ "Akilla's Escape (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Norman Wilner, "VIFF review: Akilla’s Escape puts a grounded spin on the gangland thriller". The Georgia Straight, September 14, 2020.

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