William Packer dreamed in February that his sexy thriller Trois would become the highest-grossing independent African-American film ever.
Packer, a 1991 St. Petersburg High School graduate, shared screenplay and producer credits on the $200,000 project. Then he orchestrated a limited nationwide release.
Trois defied tradition with its theatrical release, which was arranged by Packer's Atlanta firm, Rainforest Productions, instead of a studio distributor. That strategy hasn't succeeded for a black filmmaker since Oscar Micheaux in the 1930s.