Production of the film is underway in New York City!

Roderick Lawrence, acclaimed actor, filmmaker and co-founder of Oscar contending production company Black Man Films, is set to make his feature film debut with Silent Partner, based on his award-winning short film of the same name.

The legal drama centers on a young black trial attorney (played by Lawrence) who is assigned to a racially charged case where he must defend a white woman who murdered a black teen. The story covers the attorney’s struggle with his conscience as he pursues the coveted position of partner, workplace microaggressions and systemic racism, and the dynamics between he and his wife as they navigate the pressures of being asked to stand on the opposite side of justice.

The film, starring and written by Lawrence, started production in New York City last week, and features a stellar cast that includes Susan Heyward (Orange is the New Black), Eric Nelsen (1883), and Jeff Perry (Greys Anatomy). Additional cast members are Stephen Hill (Magnum P.I., The Color Purple), Welker White (The Irishman), Haskiri Velazquez (Saved by the Bell), Karen Aldridge (Fargo), Shoshana Bean (Wicked), and Isabella Pisacane (This is the Night). Director of Photography Eric Branco is making his feature directorial debut. Bess Fifer and Aaron Schoonover of Fifer and Associates were involved in casting.


Lawrence has been garnering attention in the industry as a talent destined for stardom. He is a 2022 BronzeLens Film Festival BEST ACTOR recipient (Oscar-qualifying) and a 2020 AUDELCO nominee. His credits include starring as Ike Turner on the national tour for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Simba in Disney’s The Lion King National Tour, Ramses in the Broadway-bound The Prince of Egypt, Othello in John Leguizamo’s Othello: The Remix, Floyd Barton in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and Jesus in Godspell.The Silent Partner short film created by and starring Lawrence and lensed by Branco, screened at 21 festivals. It was additionally a finalist in the HBO Max Latino Short Film Competition before qualifying for the Oscars.

He, along with Black Man Films co-founder Salma Qarnain have been very intent on increasing positive and accurate representation of the black community, as well as shining more light on the diversity of stories and issues within the black experience that are frequently overlooked in Hollywood.

“I’m about empowering my community. Anything else I don’t have time for. I’ve turned down a lot of roles because I didn’t think they were telling our stories,” Lawrence said. “Microaggressions, systemic racism and the mental toll it has on people and their families is something we don’t see and need to talk about. This film will address that and really make a statement.”

For more information on Roderick Lawrence, Black Man Films and Silent Partner, visit and follow @rodericklaw and @silentpartnerfilm on Instagram.


Photo Credits: Roderick Lawrence