Burning Sands (2017): Director’s Gerard McMurray Sundance Fest Feature

Burning Sands is directed by Gerard McMurray, who co-wrote the scenario with Christine Berg.

Set during fraternity’s Hell Week, the film deal with a favored pledge, torn between honoring a code of silence or standing up against the intensifying violence of underground hazing.

Five young men pledge Lambda Phi fraternity at the Historically Black College-Frederick Douglass University.

Zurich (Trevor Jackson) is a student who leads the pledge class as they endure hazing on campus. The pledges balance their time in class with English professor Hughes (Alfre Woodard) and their new fraternity life of parties, sorority girls and dating.

The pledge class learns the brotherhood mottos and bonds together of moral and physical hazing.

Dean Richardson, a Lambda Phi alumnus, extols its virtues. He is told of pledge abuse but would not break the fraternity code of silence and secrecy. One night the hazing goes too far and a big brother advises the pledge class to drop off a seriously injured pledge at the emergency room but to avoid the cameras.

The young neophyte fraternity brothers await together at the hospital the fate of their friend Frank, who dies of ruptured aorta artery.  Zurich takes out his cell phone and calls his dad, realizing why his father never joined the fraternity.

The film world premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Fest and then played on Netflic in March 2107.

Cast
Trevor Jackson as Zurich
Alfre Woodard as Professor Hughes
Steve Harris as Dean Richardson
Tosin Cole as Frank
DeRon Horton as Earnest (Square)
Dominique Mari as Tiffany
Mitchell Edwards as Stephon
Christian Robinson as Big Country
Trevante Rhodes as Fernander
Malik Bazille as Dwight
Octavius J Johnson as Ron
Rotimi Akinosho as Edwin