April 25, 2014 Media Contact
Maitefa Angaza

Obsessions, Compulsions and Fear
Reel Sisters Names Short Film, Contamination
Official Selection Into 2014 Film Festival


[New York] Short film, Contamination, has been accepted into the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series for its outstanding portrayal on the impact mental illness has on a woman’s life.  The festival is "devoted to supporting films produced, directed and written by women of color." Reel Sisters will be held October 25-26, 2014 at Spike Lee Screening Room, LIU, Brooklyn. For information visit www.reelsisters.org and on Twitter @reelsisters.

“We’re proud to accept Contamination into our showcase of films this year.  The film gives a powerful portrayal of a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and how it affects her family and friends. We hope Contamination will stimulate conversation on an important issue that rarely gets addressed in our community,” said Carolyn A. Butts, Reel Sisters Festival Director/Founder.

Teaser of Contamination


R. Shanea Williams directed the short film, the first from Vision 75/80 Productions.  She said she wanted to give a voice to people we do not often see struggling with OCD. "I had an idea about this character for a long time, a woman who was struggling with severe germaphobia which resulted in her having OCD. If people are going to learn something from this film, it is that mental health issues are universal and affect people of all races, ages and backgrounds."

Actress Cherise Boothe plays the lead actress, Jade.  The Obie Award winner, who was featured in the film 42 and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined, explained why she felt compelled to participate in the project. "Jade's life circumstances have her battling with a condition by which she feels completely overwhelmed and controlled. Her condition was one I knew little about and wondered how someone gets to the place where we find her in the film," said Boothe. "The journey of getting inside Jade's character, experiencing the world from her perspective, was an intriguing, challenging and daunting endeavor, three great draws for any artist."

Reel Sisters screens 20-25 films each year. The festival not only showcases films, but also hosts panels and workshops.  Since its founding in 1997, the festival has featured more than 400 films by women of African, Caribbean, Latino, Asian, Indian and Native American descent.


About the film festival:
Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series, a Brooklyn-based film festival founded by African Voices magazine and LIU, Brooklyn, is dedicated to supporting women of color filmmakers.  Reel Sisters is supported, in part, by Council Members Laurie Cumbo and Jumaane Williams, National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works, New York State Council on the Arts and Brooklyn Arts Council.


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