Sunday, September 5, 2010

Nikyatu Jusu- Winner of the Shadow And Act Filmmaker Challenge


Under the Mush interview with Nikyatu Jusu
The winner of the Shadow And Act $3300 Filmmaker Challenge is Nikyatu Jusu, and her screenplay tentatively titled Black Swan Theory. See the video for a recent Under the Mush interview with Nikyatu.

About Nikyatu Jusu, in her own words: “Originally bred in Atlanta, Georgia to Sierra Leonean parents, Writer/Director Nikyatu Jusu is an MFA candidate at New York University’s graduate film program. Her second short film, African Booty Scratcher garnered her a Director’s Guild Honorable Mention, HBO Short Film Award and JT3 Artist Award.

Nikyatu is currently touring the festival circuit with her thesis film, Say Grace Before Drowning; the screenplay alone earned her a Spike Lee Scholarship and a Princess Grace Foundation-US Graduate Film Scholarship. Because she has a preoccupation with foreigners, damaged women and the contradictory nature of humanity, these themes presently permeate her work.”

About the contest: The Shadow And Act Filmmaker Challenge is a contest of the US black Film and Media Blog Shadow and Act. Every 3 to 4 months, A MINIMUM of $1,200 will go towards the funding of a 3 to 10 minute short film by a filmmaker of African descent, with a story about people of African descent, based on their own original idea.

The contest is only open to US filmmakers, but it's likely they will expand to other regions over time. Some international donations may speed up the process of course. Read more here.

The Screenplay

The Black Swan Theory synopsis: A psychiatric casualty of war, recently returned to the US, Sonya’s imagined sense of normalcy crumbles around her; she must hunt or become the hunted.

About the screenplay she explains: “I’m always intrigued with black women in settings that are typically not seen as conducive to their presence: for instance a former US Soldier struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We rarely, if ever, hear about the experiences of black women who have fought for this country and I thought it would be interesting to explore such a character in the context of an attempted return to normalcy–when normalcy is no longer definable. I hope to convey a woman battling both her own private demons and the demons of war. I’m also very influenced by graphic novels and have been craving a black female heroine.”

Read more about her film and the Shadow And Act Black Filmmaker Challenge here.

See also the 2010 Shadow And Act Black Filmmakers To Watch list, here.

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