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Three days after film marketing consultant Michael Latt was murdered in his Los Angeles home on Monday, November 27, the Los Angeles Times reported court filings show that the woman charged with his death was accused of stalking and threatening “A Thousand and One” director A.V. Rockwell.
Jameelah Michl, a 36-year-old woman who appeared as an extra in Focus Features’ “A Thousand and One,” Rockwell’s directorial debut that won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, has been charged with breaking into Latt’s home and shooting him.
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A press release from the prosecution accused her of targeting Latt, the son of longtime Sundance Institute director Michelle Satter, “for being friends with a woman she had been stalking.”
Latt publicly linked himself to Rockwell when he posted on his personal Instagram account about attending the Sundance premiere of “A Thousand and One.”
“There’s nothing like the energy of a world premiere at #Sundance Film Festival,” he wrote in January 2023. “And the two I’ve attended this year were especially memorable because they were for two of my favorite people’s films.”
Rockwell responded: “Thank you, Michael… love youuu!!”
Latt was the founder and CEO of Lead With Love, an organization that works to support “influential women and artists of color.” Among the people and organizations he worked with were Barry Jenkins, Common, Ryan Coogler, Netflix, Sundance Film Festival, DGA, Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY, and UCLA.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Rockwell was forced to obtain a restraining order against Michl. Soon after production wrapped on “A Thousand and One,” Michl allegedly began sending Rockwell gifts followed by disturbing emails and handwritten letters in which Michl threatened to commit suicide.
“My Glock is Loaded as I write this,” Michl wrote in one note. “One pull of the trigger and I’ll be free.”
Rockwell and producers for “A Thousand and One” claim they responded by referring Michl toward mental health resources, but she continued to contact Rockwell through fake phone numbers after the director blocked her original number. The filmmaker claims that Michl, who served as a stand-in for “A Thousand and One” star Teyana Taylor, attempted to slander her on social media by accusing Rockwell of racism and selling drugs.
“She has made multiple attempts to emotionally blackmail me, threatening to ruin my career and derail the success of the film by going public about my alleged abandonment of a suicidal person,” Rockwell wrote in the court filing.
The ongoing stalking, threatening, and harassment prompted Rockwell to file a police report in June.
Watch Rockwell’s conversation with IndieWire at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival below.
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