Here’s another selection screening at the American Black Film Festival (July 6-9). It’s called The Turtle And The Nightingale and it’s apart of the HBO Short Film Competition taking place at the festival.

Directed by Gershon Hickson, the film takes a look at the problem of bullying but with a unique perspective. The bully, in his movie, is the victim. Cast members include Lawrence Daniels-White, Rapha’el Olakotan, George Johnston, Paul Barber, Alistair Cook, Pandora Christie, Dana Hinkson, Antonio Sylvestri, Billy Barrett, Marlon Rangandap and Omar Dixon.

The film focuses on Harry, 12, a composite of two bullies Hinkson met at his then 6-year-old daughter’s school. Harry learns his bullying ways from an abusive, violent father, and targets Liam, also 12, who lives with his alcoholic father following his mother’s death.

In the end, the film shows compassion for both bullies and their victims.


The Turtle & The Nightingale is a tale about bullying that follows three precocious 12 year olds-Harry, Liam and Ricky who-despite their antagonizing domestic circumstances-discover the magic and healing power of friendship.

Hickson, a Brooklyn native, interned on Spike Lee’s film Clockers and subsequently began working with Spike as an editor. Later, he worked with many other notable directors including Sydney Pollack (The Interpreter), Sam Raimi (Spider Man 2), Charles Stone III (Paid In Full), Doug Liman (Jumper), Malcolm Lee (The Best Man) and many more.

After 14 years working as an assistant editor and editor, he’s turned his attention towards writing and directing.