Sundancin' Around!

A lot has happened over the past month or so since I've last shared updates on Sincerely, the Black Kids. I've successfully defended my undergraduate thesis, hosted my first for-profit concert with n.e.Bodied Entertainment and became an official Fulbright finalist to Taiwan. With all of these moving pieces in play, it seemed easy enough to wait until S,TBK survived the post-production process to begin rolling out promotion. Thank God we didn't; the grind has continued nonstop and we cannot wait to show our first screening at New College of Florida's Sainer Auditorium on May 12, 2018 (6:30PM).

If it seemed quiet on the blog recently it's because we've been discovering the ins and outs of promoting an independent film. One such "in" that paid off was surfing the internet instead of workin. Thanks to a well timed Facebook ad (we see you, Cambridge), I decided to apply to the Sundance Institute's Short Film Intensive - a one day boot camp for filmmakers looking to finalize their short films with the right kind of sauce that a premier Festival like Sundance would appreciate. A few forms and weeks later, I was officially selected and giddily off to my own hometown of Miami to take in the spoils.

Having the opportunity to collaborate with an institute as prestigious as Sundance was one thing, but being able to link up with other Miami creatives was the true prize never advertised. Having hit most of my artistic stride since heading off to Sarasota for college in 2014, it's been wild seeing hometown homeboys and homegirls - and even some friends! - make a name for themselves in the city. For a South Dade County kid like me, it was even more revolutionary to see movements like Raider Klan's and industry splashes like Moonlight's come from the black folks often left out of all the clout people associate with Miami. I didn't expect to be back in the capacity of a debuting film director of all things, but damn if it didn't bring a tear to my eye (complete with a Ken Burns freeze frame of my face and Trick Daddy in the background). 

More than anything, I learned that being a baby to the game is not as scary as it's made out to be. I was worried about feeling left out amongst a bunch of other much more well-defined names, but ultimately I was welcomed with open arms as nothing less than a fellow truth-teller. All of our stories, however different they may be from one another, connected on a level of wanting to show the world what was going on in our corners of it - whether in our minds or on our own stomping grounds. No matter what, the art and artists that come out of Miami will always drip with that special kind of sauce that you got to come from to truly love...

Plus that shit's just fire.

I won't go into the learning details of the whole affair and spill all the knowledge dropped for free like that, but I did want to give a shout out to the Sundance Institute, and specifically Mike Plante and Ana Souza for getting this gang together and believing in the strength of our trailer. We hope to do them proud at the official first screening of Sincerely, the Black Kids scheduled for May 12th at New College's Sainer Auditorium at 6:30PM. If you're reading this, that was a plug and I hope to see you there!

In the meantime, check out some of the dope going-ons from some of the other filmmaker fellows below and look out for their project releases coming soon (for you Floridians nearby):

Farbod Ardebili

In a dystopian future, robots are thinking, feeling beings who are treated as second-class citizens. After a contentious election, the new president threatens to make matters much worse for the non-humans, but a manufactured prostitute enlists the help of a struggling cyber-detective to change everything.


Elaine Del Valle
Director, ME 3.769

A pubescent Latina looks forward to her developing body and romance, but must soon cope with the shame of inappropriate advances from someone she trusts.


Jayme Gershen

A couple's love is called into question as they fight to stay connected to one another despite being divided by U.S. immigration policy. Jayme, an American living in Miami, confronts her own background and privilege as she tries to reach Andrés, a Colombian living in Medellín who is paying the price for his past mistakes.


Ani Mercedes
Director, FEARLESS

FEARLESS is a soulful short documentary about a courageous group of unexpected boxers: teenage girls from low-income households who overcome social and family stigmas to build strength and community through boxing. Unlike most boxing films, it reveals the overlooked spiritual side of the sport.


Ana Moreno
Director, ANDANTE

The year: 1974. Marcos, a door-to-door salesman, is traveling from one town to another. Late in the night, he picks up a hitchhiker on the road, a young woman named Maria. Two opposites meet on a road, getting a taste of a life once left behind.


Cristina Trabada
Director, HABIT

A promiscuous teenage girl finds herself in a compromising situation involving sexual assault. After her friends fail to provide comfort and justice, she tries to find solace in bloody revenge.


Jonathan/Michael Cuartas
Writer/director, THE HORSE AND THE STAG

Grieving mother Edith holds adolescent Carson captive in her sunbaked trailer home. When together, Carson is submitted to bouts of torture by Edith. When alone, Carson is left with a paranoia much worse than any torture.


Jose Navas

Reinaldo Cruz was just 16 years old when his country, Cuba, began to be torn apart by civil unrest and government repression. Reinaldo realizes he must find a way out and regain his freedom at any cost. He desperately risks death and does what no one dared to do before: attempt a perilous journey to America on nothing more than a makeshift raft. (Based on a true story)