I Am A Negress of Noteworthy Talent will feature five short films whose topics range from African astronauts in Zambia to black women vampires. The common thread? All were created by emerging black women filmmakers, a demographic greatly underrepresented in the film world. When I asked lead organizer Wendy James why the focus is on black women filmmakers, she explained: “I feel like our voices are powerful and they can deconstruct our society…racial identity really influences our perspective and it creates a unique perspective.” Wendy feels that this event is about making a strong statement in a society where “there’s an effort to silence black women.”
On Thursday night at Brooklyn Fire Proof, you can see films by five different filmmakers that range from narrative to documentary to experimental. Suicide By Sunlight by Nikyatu Jusu consists of a dangerous breed of Day-Walking Black Vampires protected by added melanin who roam New York City. Cakes Da Kill: No Homo by Ja’Tovia Gary is a documentary about a 22-year-old, queer aspiring rapper. The Watchers by Nevline Nnaji is an experimental film where a young woman recalls an experience overcoming her fear for public speaking. Savage by Wendy James questions the white savior complex and white privilege. And lastly, Afronauts by Frances Bodomo is about a group of astronauts from Zambia trying to beat America to the moon. The screenings will be followed by a discussion and Q&A hosted by blogger and multimedia storyteller Patrice Peck. Jasmyne Pope is a co-organizer of the event.
While each film’s storyline is unique, they overlap in their rebellious nature. Wendy explains, “each film has a strong point of view and is critical about how hierarchy works in society. They each attack hierarchy in a different way…they’re ‘in your face’ kind of films.”
This is the first time Wendy has organized such an event, but she doesn’t plan for it to be the last.
For more on where the title came from, watch this.
I Am A Negress of Noteworthy Talent: Emerging Black Women Filmmakers Exhibition, Thursday, May 23rd at 8pm. Brooklyn Fire Proof: 120 Ingraham St. Entrance is in the alley. Admission: Free ($3 suggested donation). Directions on the Facebook event.