Sistahs are doing it for themselves

Sistahs are doing it for themselves

The Sistahs are doing it for themselves film festival took place recently in California last weekend — a festival aimed at providing opportunity and support for women who are both African American and filmmakers. Through screening their work and inspiring discussion, the festival empowers and nurtures the skills and visions of African American independent filmmakers.




Organised by the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Centre (BHERC), the Sistahs doing it festival is part of an ongoing effort to encourage diversity both behind and before the screen. The BHERC is a non-profit organisation founded in 1996 to shine a light on African Americans and other minority groups and their contributions to film and television. The organisation also keeps the memory of the roles that African Americans have played in film and television in the past.


The BHERC uses annual film festivals and educational programs to celebrate and promote African American history, culture, and achievement in the film industry. Sistahs doing it is a specifically crafted safe space for women filmmakers who often do not face equal representation.


Some of the films selected to be screened this year include:


“Dream” (2015) by Nijla Baseema Mu’min.
“Dream” is about a 12-year-old girl who strives to rekindle her parent’s dwindling romance and learns painful lessons about love in the process.


“Roubado” (2014) by Erica A. Watson.
This is the story of an introverted Afro-Portuguese teen growing up in the south of France. While suffering from his parents’ recent breakup, he finds solace in photography.


“Window Dressing Fail” (2014) by Stacey Larkins.
This follows an ambitious woman who hides her African name on her resume in order to gain a job interview.


The short films covered themes from revenge to feminism to love.


What are your favourite movies directed by black women? Do you know of any? Share your answers by leaving a comment below or letting me know on Twitter @rafeeeeta

Rafeeat Aliyu

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