The Last Black Man in San Francisco


Jimmie Fails, a young black San Franciscan, has a dream. He thinks night and day of how to reclaim the beautiful Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of the city — the home he grew up in as a boy. But somewhere along the line, drugs trumped the mortgage and his parents lost Jimmie’s dream house.

Now homeless and restless, Jimmie crashes with his only friend, Prentice, on the edge of the bay in the city’s last, crumbling outpost of black life. The boys' world — which seems light years from the San Francisco of glittering new wealth that looms in the distance — is one of loneliness but also strange adventure.

Every week, Jimmie and Prentice make a pilgrimage to Jimmie’s old house in the Fillmore district. All traces of the old neighborhood — once nicknamed "Harlem of the West" — have been replaced by restaurants fabricated from reclaimed wood, Labradoodle dog walkers and yoga pants-clad joggers.

But when Jimmie and Prentice discover one day that the house's current owners have moved out, Jimmie hatches a plan to take it back — and rebuild the connections he longs for. It’s a dream that pushes him, and his friendship with Prentice, to the edge.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Joe Talbot (director/cowriter) is a native San Franciscan whose emerging body of work has been already been hailed by beloved auteur Guy Maddin as "gorgeous, powerful and moving." From the time he was a teenager, his films have screened at the San Francisco International three times and his work has been covered in VICE, The Atlantic, Indiewire, the San Francisco Chronicle and Filmmaker Magazine, where he was recently profiled in the 25 New Faces issue. After dropping out of high school to pursue film and music, his short film Z-Man (codirected with his younger brother Nat) won the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. While working on his second short Last Stop Livermore he met Jimmie Fails and the two collaborators began dreaming up The Last Black Man in San Francisco, adapted from Fails' real life story and cowritten/directed by Talbot. The film is currently in development.


IFP Emerging Storytellers Lab
Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2016
  • Running time: 90
  • Director(s): Joe Talbot
  • Producer(s): Khaliah Neal, Carlton Evans
  • Writer(s): Joe Talbot, Jimmie Fails
  • Music: Joe Talbot
  • With: Jimmie Fails, Prentice Sanders

FilmHouse Resident project

Fall 2016 SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant Recipient