Bronx filmmaker to debut feature film at Urbanworld Film Fest

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A Bronx filmmaker is getting ready to debut his first feature film at an upcoming film festival.

In 2012, Adel Morales had a decision to make -- remain a high school English teacher or pursue his dream of making movies.

The Wakefield native got a push, emotionally and financially, from his family.

Morales attended film school at NYU at 39. He produced 20 short films over six years, but never a feature film -- until now.

"Release" will debut Thursday in Manhattan at the Urbanworld Film Festival. It was written, directed and produced by Morales. It's a fictional story of a convict returning home to the Bronx after two decades behind bars.

But making a movie isn't cheap. The now 47-year-old got some help from a teacher at NYU that he served under as a teaching assistant -- Spike Lee.

"He was a big supporter of my earlier work in short films. When I told him I was doing a feature for thesis, he read maybe the first 30 pages...and loved it," said Morales.

That led to a $5,000 grant.

More than half of "Release" was shot in the Bronx. Morales says that was important to him to gain the authenticity he was seeking in his first feature film.

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