San Francisco, California, U.S.
|The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)|
Life and career
Fails was born and raised in San Francisco. Until he was three years old he lived in a Victorian house that his grandfather, a Baptist preacher, had bought in the predominantly Black middle-class Fillmore district of San Francisco. After his grandfather died, the house was foreclosed on because his relatives could not afford the expense and he spent the remainder of his childhood in foster care and public housing. Only he and his father remained in the city; the rest of the relatives moved out. Fails attended Archbishop Riordan High School and later attended college but left after one year.
Growing up, Fails met Joe Talbot at the park that divided their neighborhoods. They soon became close friends and first began making short movies together during high school. Their short film Last Stop Livermore, made in collaboration with Joe's brother Nat, was a finalist in the Golden Gate Awards. Their second, official short American Paradise premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Talbot and Fails conceived of the film The Last Black Man in San Francisco as teenagers, and the pair eventually created a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to fund it. Danny Glover, a San Francisco native, called Fails directly to express his interest in the film. The film is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of a fictionalized version of Fails, played by the actor, who attempts to reclaim a Victorian home built by his grandfather in a gentrified area of San Francisco. The film was Fails' first professional acting role. The Last Black Man in San Francisco received positive critical reception.
In 2019, Talbot and Fails formed a production company called Longshot Features.
Fails resides in San Francisco.
- Del Barco, Mandalit. "'The Last Black Man In San Francisco' Is About Who Belongs In A Beloved City". NPR. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
- "'Last Black Man' star Jimmie Fails has first brush with fame - HoustonChronicle.com". www.houstonchronicle.com. 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
- Cast of "The Last Black Man In San Francisco" Talk Inspiration Behind The Film, retrieved 2019-12-20
- Obenson, Tambay (2019-06-06). "The Pain of Jimmie Fails' Eviction Fueled His Need to Make 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco'". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
- Floyd, Thomas. "Childhood friends muse on gentrification with the soulful 'Last Black Man in San Francisco'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
- Desta, Yohana. "'The Last Black Man in San Francisco': The True Story Behind the Surreal Gentrification Tale". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
- Carlson, Erin (2019-08-31). "The Rising Stars of San Francisco Films: Jimmie Fails and Joe Talbot". The Nob Hill Gazette. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
- "The newcomers behind 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco'". AP NEWS. 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
- Shaffer, Marshall. "Interview: Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails on the Friendship Behind The Last Black Man in San Francisco". Retrieved 2019-07-10.
- "THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO". RUTH ASAWA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
- Crucchiola, Jordan. "Who Gets to Say 'Fuck San Francisco' Now?". Vulture. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
- The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019), retrieved 2019-07-10
- Obenson, Tambay (June 6, 2019). "The Pain of Jimmie Fails' Eviction Fueled His Need to Make 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco'". IndieWire.