The Big Dis

Sundance and Berlin Premieres

A fast talking comedy with the buzz of authenticity – one of the years ten best! – The Village Voice

America’s first matter-of-factly interracial sex comedy – a breakthrough film! – Boston Globe

Completed: 1989
Commercial Release: 1990
Theatrical Distributor: First Run Features
Running Time: 88 minutes
B&W 16mm (35mm Blow Up) Narrative
Cable Premiere on The Sundance Channel


Download a Presskit (PDF, 500K)
Contents: Synopsis, Production Notes, Interview with the Directors, Cast and Crew Bios


THE BIG DIS was completed in 1989 on a budget of approximately $85,000, raised through student loans, prize money, and loans from thirteen investors, mostly friends and family. Shot in gritty, hand held b&w 16mm, with a soundtrack including Salt-N-Pepa and LL Cool J, The Big Dis is a comedy about a young soldier on his first leave home to his middle class, multiracial, suburban hometown. Full of himself in his new uniform, he wants to “mix bodies with a female.” Instead of getting what he wants, however, he gets repeatedly dissed by old girlfriends, and his strict West Indian mother makes him walk the dog, mow the lawn, and buy his grandfather lottery tickets.


EXUBERANT. The filmmakers have constructed a very funny,
engaging, congenial movie…the hip-hop soundtrack has a
tough talking but light hearted humor that mirrors its
middle class characters. – The New York Times

HILARIOUS YET THOUGHTFUL – The Big Dis puts bigger films to
shame. – Los Angeles Times

REVOLUTIONARY…Gritty, bright, and very funny. My pick of
the week. – LA Weekly

AUTHENTICITY. The only unreconstructed film about
adolescent sensibilities I’ve ever seen. – The Village

ONE OF THE YEAR’S TEN BEST. – The Village Voice
YOUNG, FRESH, SMART, AND GUTSY. I’m already looking forward
to their next film. – The Nation

A BREAKTHROUGH FILM: America’s first matter-of-factly
inter-racial sex comedy. – The Boston Globe

Mix the hip humor of Spike Lee, the can-do resourcefulness
of a young John Cassavetes, and the pulse of a rap video
and you’ll have The Big Dis. – SF Chronicle

THE MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE OF 1990 – a dead on, wryly funny
comedy. – Philadelphia Enquirer

LOOSE AND SPONTANEOUS. Contrary to movie stereotyping,
there are people of color living in suburbia. – The New
York Post

FRESH AND FUNNY…a refreshing immersion into the world and
concerns of todays teenagers by filmmakers young enough to
know. – NY Newsday

FRESH AND VIBRANT…one of the more fascinating
presentations of the American melting pot in recent memory.

Significant Playdates

Sundance (Competition)
Berlin International Film Festival (Panorama)
Torino Festival of Young Cinema ( Special Jury Prize)
Amiens Festival of Ethnographic Cinema
Los Angeles International Film Fstival
Black Triangle Film Festival, London
Boston Film Festival
Riverton Film Festival
Durban Cinema Festival , South Africa
Tokyo Festival of American Independent Film
Montreal International Film Festival (World Cinema)
Toronto Festival of Festivals
Bleeker Street Cinema

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