Short Films Get Standing Ovation at BAMcinemaFest 2018

The Brooklyn Academy of Music celebrated their 10th Annual BAMcinemaFest Wednesday, June 20 through Sunday, July 1. I was grateful enough to receive an extra ticket to the short film program of the festival featuring young talented women directors such as Mariama Diallo, Stefani Saintonge, Melika Bass, and Adepero Oduye.

Left to Right: Mariama Diallo, performer in Bass’ short film, Melika Bass, Adepero Oduye, and Stefani Saintonge, with host.

Each film was unique in its own way, from style, technique, and equipment. Two of my absolute favorite ones were Mariama Diallo’s Hair Wolf and Adepero Oduye’s To Be Free. Not only were the films directed by creative women of color, but they spoke true to the experiences of Black women.

Hair Wolf is a 12 minute satirical short exaggerating white and Caucasian women craving for braids. Imagine the music video to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “Night of the Living Dead” (possibly based on the 1990 reboot of with Tony Todd, yes, Candy Man). It started as jokingly conversations across different social media platforms such as Instagram, and Black Twitter, that Black women an men have online. A conversation that brew into a short film that makes you laugh and say oh shit!

To Be Free was an amazing piece of the director, Adepero Oduye, portrayed at Nina Simone taking the stage to give a “soul-stirring performance.” You can feel the rhythm from the instruments in the film vibrating your seat, and personally I got goosebumps just watching the 12 minute short. During the Q&A portion of the screenings, Oduye spoke modestly of the production and it warmed my heart to know that it was filmed at C’mon Everybody, in Brooklyn.

I look forward to next year’s BAMcinemaFest, and hopefully I will have the chance to see everything.

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