Reel Sisters Presents Tattoo with Best Narrative Short Award

On October 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm, Reel Sisters will present producer Dena Rassam and director Farhad Delaram of Tattoo with our Best Narrative Short Award and recommend the film for Oscar consideration. A tightly woven story exploring oppression, Tattoo is about an Iranian woman who encounters an extreme examination into her life while attempting to renew her driver’s license. The event will be held at the SVA Theater in Chelsea, Manhattan NY.  

AWARD WINNING FILMS

Reel Sisters is proud to present 10 films with top awards for cinematic excellence. Shield will receive honorable mention and acknowledgement from our jurors for creating a praise worthy film. Film lovers can join us in celebrating our honorees and enjoy the films on October 19-20, 2019 at Reel Sisters 22nd Anniversary.

Our list of award-winning films is below. For schedule visit www.reelsisters.org.


BEST NARRATIVE SHORT AWARD (Recommended for Oscar Consideration)

Tattoo

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/322287189
Director: Farhad Delaram
Writers: Farhad Delaram, Dena Rassam
Producer: Dena Rassam    
Category: Narrative
Length: 15 min.   

The young Iranian woman had not been expecting this kind of examination. She only wanted to renew her driver’s license, but when the officials noticed a scar on her wrist and her tattoo, they began looking at her with suspicion. Suddenly she is trapped, forced to answer personal questions and exposed to insinuations. The camera captures the growing uneasiness with clinical precision.

BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD (Tied)

Redacted

Trailer: N/A
Director/Writer/Producer: Naeema Jamilah Torres
Category: Documentary
Length: 18:47 min.

A Black filmmaker reflects on present-day struggles of marginalized people, on a tour devoted to challenging conventional historical narratives through the legacy of a slave revolt.

The Changing Same

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyUMuXi2XFg
Directors: Joe Brewster, Michele Stephenson
Writer: Joe Brewster 
Producer: Ayana Enomoto-Hurst
Category: Documentary  
Length: 21:03 min.

In The Changing Same, we follow four residents of modern-day Marianna, Florida as they reflect on the legacy of racial terror in their town. One of the residents, Lamar Wilson, runs a very particular marathon every year to commemorate the lynching of Claude Neal. On October 26, 1934, Claude Neal was brutally lynched by a mob of white men who stormed the county jail where Neal was held after being accused of the murder of a 20-year-old white 

BEST SCREENPLAY AWARD

Paper Boats

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/358155251
Director: Gonzalo Guajardo-Fajardo
Writers: Gonzalo Guajardo-Fajardo, Abezash Tamerat
Producers: Gonzalo Guajardo-Fajardo, Helana Papayanopulos, Bakyt Zhumadilova
Category: Narrative
Length: 15 min.

Why can’t Rahel bring herself to sign her artwork? The visit of her high school academic triggers memories of why she is haunted by her surname, yet would not consider changing it.

BEST DIRECTOR AWARD 

A Love Song for Latasha

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/309020714
Director: Sophia Nahli Allison
Producers: Janice Duncan, Fam Udeorji, and Sophia Nahli Allison
Category: Documentary/Experimental
Length: 19:03 min

A Love Song For Latasha is a dreamlike archive in conversation with the past and the present. The film re-imagines a more nuanced narrative of Latasha Harlins by excavating intimate and poetic memories shared by her cousin and best friend.

BEST WEB SERIES AWARD

Black Girls Guide to Fertility

Trailer: https://youtu.be/okx4bjx4uKI
Director: Crystle Roberson 
Writer: Sonhara Eastman
Producers: Carmen K. Jones, Sonhara Eastman, and Ronald Eastman II
Category: Web Series
Length: 13:26 min.

Black Girls Guide to Fertility tackles infertility in a profoundly intimate way that is both dramatic and comedic without ever feeling rigid. It focuses on Ava, a 37-year-old romance novelist, who faded into obscurity after finding love-and now finds herself on the rise again after self-publishing a diary detailing her fertility woes. Each episode is a recreation of Ava’s diary entry, adding a unique and compelling touch to the everyday struggle of infertility.

REEL SISTERS SPIRIT AWARD

Finding Elijah

Trailer: N/A
Director/Writer/Producer: Yolonda Johnson-Young
Category: Documentary
Length: 25:02 min.

Told from a mother’s perspective, Finding Elijah follows a young man’s journey from home, into mental illness, to homelessness, and ultimately to suicide. It explores how a search for answers leads a mother to action.

BEST ANIMATION AWARD

Wash Day

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/330397590
Director: Jaida Salmon
Category: Animation
Length: 2:18 min.    

A young black girl spends the day washing, styling, and sometimes fighting with her hair.

BEST EXPERIMENTAL AWARD

The Water Will Carry Us Home

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/269117493
Producer/Director/Writer: Gabrielle Tesfaye 
Category: Animation
Length: 6:47 min.

Through living ritual and stop motion animation, The Water Will Carry Us Home reveals the story of stolen Africans being thrown off the slave ship whilst sailing through the Middle Passage. Upon crashing in the waves, the unimaginable happens when mermaids dwelling in the waters save these spirits.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD

Layla

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/337260686
Director: Celine Cotran
Writers: Celine Cotran, Oliver Sunley
Producer: Oliver Sunley
Category: Narrative
Length: 17:34 min.

Relocated to the seaside town of Margate, Kent, Layla is a 60-year-old Syrian refugee who balances working the sweetshop at the local fun fair with looking after her young granddaughter. Unable to build relationships with the British population around her, she connects with a young boy, Femi, who teaches her to skateboard.

HONORABLE MENTION

Shield

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/343281108
Director/Writer: Danielle Eliska Lyle 
Producers: Danielle Eliska Lyle, Lauren Sowa, Tim Eliot
Category: Narrative
Length: 17:52 min.

Zoe was put in foster care after the death of her brother. Trauma made it difficult to place her in a permanent home until Rachel embraces the challenge in an inspiring story about facing fears, finding inner strength and being brave enough to embrace the scars that make us beautiful.

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