They Will Carry Us Home, directed by Gabrielle Tesfaye, will screen at NJCU’s Visionary Women Festival on March 8, 2019.



On Fri., March 8, 2019, Reel Sisters and New Jersey City University’s Black Alumni Administrators, Faculty, Students and Staff Organization (BAAFSSO) will present Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Non-Violence to celebrate International Women’s Day. Visionary Women is a festival offering arts lovers a slice of notable films from Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series, the first Academy Qualifying Festival for Short Films devoted to women of color, and a special NJCU student film showcase. Refreshments will be sold and ticket prices are reasonable ranging from $20 ($15 students/seniors) for a one-day pass (no book) to $10 ($8 students/seniors) for a section ticket. Group discounts available, call for information. For tickets/info visit: Visionary Women.

Visionary Women will be held at NJCU, 2039 F. Kennedy Blvd. in Jersey City, NJ. The festival is located about 20 minutes outside of NYC’s Wall Street area via the PATH train.

Film lovers can join the festivities in Jersey City where a wide range of empowering films reflecting communities of color will be showcased. Filmmakers will be on hand to give insight on the filmmaking process and the inspirations for sharing their stories. An exciting line up of hosts, films and special guests are highlighted below.

Raqiyah Mays, host of the podcast Real Black News, will moderate the book and film conversation with Ms. Davis. 

Kim Singleton, a Reel Sisters Advisory Board member and host for Consider It Blacklit, will host the film discussions from 12 noon to 5:30 pm. Some notable films screening include director Kiara C. Jones highly acclaimed 21 and Done, a film on the challenges facing young people “aging out” of the foster care system without jobs and homes; Q.U.E.E.N., directed by Brittany “B.Monét” Fennell, a powerful story on a teenage girl using her rapping skills to transform her life and heal; and director Gabrielle Tesfaye’s The Water Will Carry Us, a beautiful animated homage to the Middle Passage.

Kiara Jones, Director of 21 and Done, and members of her cast join Reel Sisters host Billi T. Martin in a film talk during a screening at Miller Theatre.

21 and Done

Director: Kiara C Jones                  Producers: Kiara C Jones, Jocelyn Scott

64  min., Documentary

21 is a celebrated age among many young Americans, but if you’re aging out of the Foster Care system, the countdown can feel more like a ticking time bomb. What should be an age for celebrating young adulthood becomes a time of anxiety, desperation, and danger for these young people.

Section I – 12 noon – 1:21 pm

The Water Will Carry Us Home

Director: Gabrielle Tesfaye, Animation, 6:35 min.

Through living ritual and stop motion animation, The Water Will Carry Us Homereveals 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.

Ori Inu: In Search of Self

Director: Chelsea Odufu, Narrative, 28:47 min.

Ori Inu: In Search of Selfis a coming of age story about a young immigrant woman who must choose between conforming her identity and spirituality to the cultural norms of America or revisiting her roots in the Afro-Brazilian religion called Candomble.

Dare to Dream

Director: Jennifer Wager, Documentary, 30:08

Cuba’s Latin American Medical School is the largest medical school in the world, training nearly 30,000 doctors since 1999. ELAM as it is known in Spanish, also trains doctors from the United States. Follow the amazing adventure of American doctors trained in Cuba as they return home to the US to serve communities struggling with a health crisis in this inspirational film.

Section II – 1:26 pm-2:26 pm


Director/Writer: Cathleen Campbell, Narrative, 4 min.

A woman who’s ridiculed for her unusual name unexpectedly discovers the power of truly connecting with another person.


Director: Eboni Price

Writer: Eboni Price, Poem by Nikki Giovanni

Producers: Kristofer Cross, Angelica Lee, Narlyia Sterling

Experimental, 8:25 min.

Set to Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Trippin”, Blaque is a visual essay that highlights the complexities of Black womanhood in America through a look at the stereotypes, experiences, and perceptions that often navigate how they are received by others and themselves. 

Into My Life – confirmed

Directors: Sarah Keeling, Grace Remington, Ivana Hucikova 

Producer: Grace Remington

15:11 min., Documentary

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in the largest affordable housing cooperative in Brooklyn, Cassandra Bromfield’s world was artfully framed by her mother’s Super-8 camera. A schoolteacher with many creative talents, Cassandra’s mom documented the exuberance of her neighborhood’s public spaces. 


12:35 min., Narrative

Director:Kwanza Gooden            Producer: Andrea Lewis

A young Black girl struggles to feel accepted by her white surroundings.

Section III –  LOVE is LOVE – 2:30 pm-3:40 pm

Prudence directed by Angela Jude will screen at NJCU.


Director: Angela Jude, Narrative, 9 min.

Prudencea dishonorably discharged World War 2 nurse dealing dementia and the loss of her female companion since the war, shuts out the world inside her room at the senior home. One day she receives an invitation to the Veteran’s Day Dance at the home. With a wandering mind and aching soul, she sets out on a little adventure to get to the dance to see her love once more.

The Line

Director: Melisa Resch, Narrative, 12:14 min.

Sparks fly at a Saturday morning clinic defense when dedicated activist Gigi meets punk loner Amber. When they are tasked with escorting a patient into the clinic the women must use ingenuity, courage and teamwork to succeed. Set against the backdrop of the massive reproductive rights struggles of the 1990’s, The Lineis a coming of age story set against the backdrop of protest.

Q.U.E.E.N. directed by Brittany “B. Monét” Fennell.


Director: Brittany “B.Monét” Fennell, Narrative, 16:27 min.

Q.U.E.E.N. tells the story of a teenage girl with a troubled past who uses her gift of rapping to transform herself. It explores the themes of identity, sexuality, abuse, expression, and more importantly healing. 



Transfinite (NAJMA) directed by Neelu Bhuman.

Director: Neelu Bhuman, Narrative, 11:34 min.

NAJMAis one of seven standalone magical realistic short stories from TRANSFINITE, a sci-fi omnibus feature film where supernatural trans and queer people from various cultures use their powers to protect, love, teach, fight and thrive.

SECTION IV – 21 And Done – 3:45 pm-5:15 pm

21 and Done

Director:  Kiara C. Jones, 63 min, documentary.

21 is a celebrated age for many young Americans, but if you’re aging out of the Foster Care system, the countdown to homelessness can feel more like a ticking bomb. What should be an age for celebrating adulthood becomes a time of anxiety, desperation and danger for many of these young adults.  Meet current and former Foster youth facing these unique challenges and the organizations outside the system that are on the front lines battling for their futures.

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