Synopsis by Derek Armstrong
Michael Ealy (Barbershop) stars as a young bipolar Brooklynite in Jellysmoke, the first feature from writer/director Mark Banning. When Jacob (Ealy) is found throwing rocks at the side of a building in Times Square, he is remanded to a psychiatric facility for treatment. Returning to his Brooklyn home following a successful stay, Jacob has clearly stabilized, but only with the help of a prescribed regimen of anti-depressants. At home, Jacob is met with varying degrees of denial by his mother (Angela Nirvana) and brother (Harvey Moore) -- the former handling him with kid gloves, the latter wanting to shake him. Jacob's devoted childhood friend Paul (Andre Royo) is his one true champion willing to stick by him despite his unpredictable nature. Jacob finds his new anesthetized routine more palatable when he meets Cindy (Opal Alladin), a single mother of a young boy, Joshua (Joshua Asante). Although Cindy is immediately attracted to Jacob, on their first date she comments that he seems sluggish. Having kept his diagnosis a secret, Jacob can't explain his behavior, so he stops taking his pills in the hopes that he'll become more alert and social. However, when he shows up in the middle of the night bearing gifts for Joshua, Cindy starts to sense that there's something not quite right about her new love interest. Jellysmoke received the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2005 Los Angeles Film Festival, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best feature made for under 500,000 dollars.