September 22, 2022

By Betti Halsell

Assistant Managing Editor


Creators of the production company, Royal Coalition celebrate their latest win, their film “On the Line” is officially Oscar-qualified.

On the Line, the newest drama short from Royale Coalition production firm, was published earlier this year. Award-winning filmmaker Brianna Devons' message allowed the audience to see an emotional cascade as a loved one tries to get out of a difficult situation.

The movie contains pure suspense, with each scene raising the tension in the room. Actors Riki Yvette Westmoreland, Daren Lee Campbell, and Lamar Usher all gave strong performances.

When Westmoreland's character heard her youngest son, Devin (Campbell), was on the verge of dreadful decision, she shows her utter despair, tension, and anxiety.

Usher portrays Devin's older brother, displaying his anger while fending off an emotional threat from what his younger brother might do.

Devin, as portrayed by Campbell, showed a degree of fragility and shame that made him wish to terminate his life.

Usher said, “‘On the Line’ was also inspired by my personal experience--trying to break away from being typecasted as the thug in major television productions. The feeling of being ‘stuck’ whether in your career or in your personal life is a universal feeling, so the director and I really wanted to tell a story that anyone could relate to.”

"On the Line" is a three-time winner at the Indie Short Fest 2021 and an official pick for the LA Black Film Fest's Best Short Film competition. the musical artist, Day Underscore (@dayunderscore), won the award for Best Original Song for the heart-felt composition, "Echo Tears."

Neesin, an accomplished director and producer, curated all of the music in the film. Westmoreland received the Best Actress honor, Usher took home the Best Actor title, and the movie also won Best Short Film at the Universal Lens Film Festival 2021.

Devons stated in a previous interview, “I know what it’s like to plead with someone to not end their life,” she continued, “To pour love and energy into them every minute to no avail.” She shared a piece of her reality through this project, her brother suffers from chronic depression.

For the entire family, there have been terrible low points over the years.

In addition to presenting many points of view on mental health, "On the Line" also started a fresh conversation among Devon's family members.

Although there has been more communication within her own family, the movie has received a ton of testimonials from people dealing with comparable difficulties, and many of them have contacted Devon through social media to share their experience.

“In 2019, there were an estimated 1.38 million suicide attempts which means 1.38 million families were at risk of losing a loved one--On the Line is an essential film for everyone to watch because we rarely see stories about mental illness told from the family's perspective how it creates ripple effects through an entire community,” Devons added.

“We had an incredibly successful run with film festivals. To date, our film has won four awards (Best Short Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Original Song) and has been an official selection of 14 festivals, including the American Black Film Festival where figureheads like Issa Rae got their start.

‘On the Line’ is based on my family’s personal experience dealing with the trauma of a suicidal loved one. I know what it’s like to plead with someone to not end their life,” Devons said. 

Follow Devons on Instagram, @shotby.briannadevons, Royale Coalition @Royale.coalition, Lamar Usher @lamarusher, Riki Yvette Westmoreland @rikiyvettewestmorelandofficial, and Darren Lee Campbell @darrenleecampbell

Category: Arts & Culture