The Program in Visual Arts presents an evening of five short narratives by women filmmakers, curated by Danielle Eliska Lyle. A talkback with filmmakers Danielle Eliska Lyle and Carolynn Cecilia will follow the screening.
Listed in order of screening
by Danielle Eliska Lyle 2019 // 18 min.
Zoe was put in foster care after the death of her brother. Trauma made it difficult to place her in a permanent home until Rachel embraces the challenges in an inspiring story about facing fears, finding inner strength and being brave enough to embrace the scars that make us beautiful.
For Colored Boys, Redemption
by Stacey Muhammad 2013 // 12 min.
A soul-stirring dramatic web series about a father’s attempt to repair his broken family after being released from prison.
Suicide by Sunlight
by Nikyatu Jusu 2018 // 16 min.
Valentina, a day-walking Black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin, finds it difficult to suppress her bloodlust when a new woman is introduced to her estranged twin daughters. In a near future NYC, Black vampires walk among us.
by Carolynn Cecilia 2019 // 20 min.
On a snowy, winter morning in north Texas, a young woman sprints from the back door of her farmhouse and disappears into the woods. When Paul, a policeman from a neighboring town, comes to investigate, he finds the young woman’s mother, Adelaide, tending to the mess and the chaos that spurned her daughter’s breakdown. Through their conversation we learn of a tumultuous past between mother and daughter, between Adelaide and Paul, and how the line between wrong and right is often drawn thin by the ghosts of our past.
Riding with Aunt D. Dot
by Bree Gant 2018 // 7 min.
Riding with Aunt D. Dot combines Director Bree Gant’s radical imagination, real-life woes, and experiences on the city bus to tell the story of a disillusioned Detroit artist struggling to ground herself mentally while fighting back against what may or may not be figments of her own imagination.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Photo courtesy Danielle Eliska Lyle
DANIELLE ELISKA (Writer/Director/Producer) hails from Detroit. She’s received her MFA in Dramatic Writing for Film, Television and Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. More than a scriptwriter, Danielle Eliska has directed documentaries, short films, music videos and theatre productions and has notable screenwriting recognition. She is the founder and COC of MERAKI society, a multimedia production house committed to telling stories about powerful women, the Black Diaspora and Black Culture. She was named one of the inaugural grant recipients of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and New York Foundation for the Arts (MOME NYFA) ‘Made in NY’ Women’s Fund in Film for Shield. www.danielleeliska.com
STACEY MUHAMMAD’s work has been featured in The LA Times, Essence, Ebony, The Root, OkayPlayer, IndieWire, Shadow and Act, Colorlines, Screen Slate, Moviemaker Magazine, and elsewhere. For Colored Boys, Redemption, was named one of the top digital series by IndieWire. Stacey’s recent directing and producing work includes an episode of Ava Duvernay’s Queen Sugar series for OWN, the award winning short film The Creed, and the docu-series From The Bottom Up. She is currently developing her first feature film and a feature documentary project. In addition, Stacey was recently chosen by the Directors Guild of America and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers for the inaugural Commercial Director’s Diversity Program. www.staceymfilms.com
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker NIKYATU JUSU’S films have screened at festivals nationally and internationally. With a BA from Duke University and an MFA from NYU’s Tisch Graduate Film school, she has earned various awards including NYU’s Spike Lee Fellowship Award, the Princess Grace Narrative film grant and Director’s Guild of America Honorable Mentions. Her latest film, Suicide By Sunlight, made its debut at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, is currently touring the festival circuit, and is being developed as a feature film. Most recently, Nikyatu made her TV directing debut for CW with an episode of the original scripted horror anthology: Two Sentence Horror Stories. Nikyatu is a tenure track Assistant Professor in the Film & Video department at George Mason University, where she teaches Screenwriting and Directing. nikyatu.com
CAROLYNN CECILIA is a Writer/Director based in NYC. Be it drama, comedy, or conceptual music films, Carolynn works diligently to tell stories that prioritize emotional connection and humanize characters who are often their own worst enemy. In 2015 she was hired by David Bowie and Sony Music to write and produce an Instagram-based episodic interpreting the emotion of Bowie’s last studio album, Blackstar. Since then Carolynn has built a career as a respected Script Supervisor, directed a horror comedy series, and has been named Writer In Residence for the highly successful performance art exhibition, The Mic, and all while helming the productions of her own narrative films. When not on set, she is a faculty member at the New York Film Academy where she teaches Intro to Screenwriting and Directing to 10 – 18 year-olds and at the Miami Ad School where she lectures on Video Storytelling for advertising students. www.carolynncecilia.com
BREE GANT is a multidisciplinary artist, dancer, and documentarian reimagining future histories. Gant’s practice emerges from self-examination and social documenting, often in the form of speculative portraiture, video, installation, and performance. In 2016, Gant won a Knight Arts Grant for the afrofuturepast dance film project. She served as a Teaching Artist in Residence with People In Education from 2016 to 2017, where she trained in restorative practices and humanizing schooling. Gant was a 2017-18 fellow with Detroit Narrative Agency for the film Riding with Aunt D. Dot. In 2019, she performed with The Gathering and skeleton architecture as part of the Choreographing Black Space residency. Gant graduated from Howard University with a BA in Film and lives and works in her hometown, Detroit. www.gant.studio