What It Means To Be A Black Woman Filmmaker At This Critical Time
Love over everything
I sat with Coltrane’s words and thought to myself that if I ever get the opportunity to realize my dream and make a feature film, I’d pay careful attention to the language. The articulation of our feelings, intellect, and vulnerability would be essential to me. Soon after, I embarked on what would be the longest journey of my professional career: writing, directing, producing and distributing my debut feature film entitled
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In The Morning
One of the things that motivated me to make In The Morning was a desire to explore intimacy and vulnerability. I don’t think there are enough films about Black life that explore those themes fully. Seeing ourselves in our vulnerable and intimate spaces is life-affirming and matters tremendously. Often times films about our lives are about how we are responding to external trauma—which is real and true and ever present, but I wanted to create a film that wasn’t about that gaze. I wanted to make a film that was very deeply and truly about us, our own very intimate/vulnerable spaces. In this increasingly vulgar climate of violence against us, telling stories that explore our humanity is not something I take for granted. As I vowed to myself that night reading those liner notes, our film renders a portrait of Black life that is joyful, and elegant, but also complex, imperfect and nuanced, where the articulation of our feelings, intellect, and vulnerability is essential.
Above all else, I want to tell stories that help expand the lens through which we see ourselves. This is why I make films. It has not been an easy journey to take this film from script to screen. Though we shot the film in just eight days, it’s been a five-year journey bringing
In this critical moment in our history, when we still must assert that our lives matter, telling our stories is a revolutionary act of love and moreover, a tool of resistance. This work is not always glamorous, but it is always glorious. It requires tremendous grit, patience, diligence, and fortitude. On those days that I feel exhausted and defeated, and like giving up, I think about the people that I am making films for, the ones of us who may go unnoticed under another’s gaze, the ones I refuse to let be erased.
There is a scene in In The Morning
In The Morning is available worldwide via Video On Demand on Amazon, Vimeo on Demand, Xfinity Streampix and VHX.