A recent short film is looking to start a conversation about the two voices” of Black America.

Other, which was a selection at several film festivals, is a short film directed by Xavier Burgin and written by and starring Vanessa Baden Kelly.

Watch the film below, and check out our Q&A with Burgin:

What is your pitch for people to watch the short film? 

Other is a short film about Black America’s two voices. If you’ve ever seen a tragedy happen to the Black community and how you talk about it with your Black friends/family/spouses is vastly different than how you’d speak about it with your white counterparts…this is a film for you.
Vanessa Baden Kelly does such great work in the web series, Giants. How was it working with her on this project? 
Vanessa is amazing to work with. She’s a superb actor and writer. It’s really rare you meet someone as talented as her on both sides of the camera. It was also superb working with her, as a director, on both Giants and OtherVanessa is both gracious and true to her vision. She allowed me to play with the dark comedy behind these situations while at the same time making sure I stayed true to the serious nature of the subject. I hope to work with her as long as I can.

Why do you think it is important for “allies” to see this short film?

Personally, I don’t care if allies” see it. If Black people see this film and resonate with it, I’m happy. But if “allies” do see it, I want them to have this takeaway: Being an ally means thinking about the dichotomy of how Black people deal with tragedy in America. We cope with it differently. We will not always be (or want to be) forthcoming about our true feelings with an “ally” because, as much as they want to understand, they never truly can. So they should really think about their words and actions when they try to comfort and talk about racial issues in America.

What are some other projects you are working on? 

I wrote a feature script based on my HBO short film, On Time, about a black woman who’s arrested during a job interview for leaving her child in the car. It recently won a screenplay competition from The Film Empire, so now I’m getting more execs to look at it, plus bringing in funding. I finished up a feature-length documentary about the history of Black people in the horror film genre. It’s still under wraps at the moment, but I’ll be able to talk about it more at the top of next year. I’m currently in post-production on a short film starring Woody McClain, Keith Powers and Nesta Cooper. Finally, I’ve been reworking my viral twitter story Tina & The Gucci Flip Flop into an afro-futuristic look at America with the production company Gunpowder & Sky.



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