My People Film Series Explores Sex, Gender And Nigerian Culture

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The My People film series returns to Kelly Strayhorn Theater for another round of screenings exploring the life experiences of queer people of color. The event kicks off on November 10th with a mixer featuring an open-format conversation—including the organizers of Pittsburgh’s first-ever Roots Pride—and sneak previews of this year’s films. See below for film schedule and details:

November 17th

7 p.m.

#blackmendream

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This 45-minute experimental documentary from Philadelphia-based artist Shikeith creates a virtual “safe space” through hashtagging, enabling black males to pull apart emotional restrictions often denied through crossroads of race and gender. Shot in black and white, the film features nine male subjects from diverse backgrounds with their backs turned away from the camera. They openly discuss the obstacles they have faced as young black men, such as depression, parental neglect and racial discrimination. It is intimate, sometimes uncomfortably so, exploring topics that are often taboo for young black men to discuss. The evening will include an appearance by the director. All are welcome to join the screening and discussion via Google Hangout.

November 24th

7 p.m.

My People Short Films

Ọya: Something Happened on the Way to West Africa!

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Filmmaker 
Seyi Adebanjo – who identifies as a queer, gender non-conforming Nigerian – explores the Òrìṣà tradition and the powerful legacy of their great grandmother, Chief Moloran Ìyá Ọlọ́ya. Through poetry and storytelling, the 30-minute film pushes the boundaries of documentary filmmaking, exploring the complex interplay of mythology, gender dynamism, history and psychology in contemporary Nigeria. Cinema verite and traditional interviewing techniques provide insight to the sensuous, rarely-seen world of the Yorùbáland ritual practice.

Vow of Silence

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Filmmaker and composer Be Steadwell‘s 28-minute fictional short tells the story of Jade, a heartbroken composer who takes a vow of silence to win back the heart of Isis, her true love. In her struggle to reconnect with Isis, she meets Jaxson, an outgoing musician. Utilizing music, magic and silence, Jade finds her voice in the place she least expects it. The film is a music-driven story placing queer women of color at the center of the narrative.

The evening will include appearances by special guests Adebanjo and Steadwell.

Tickets for the My People film series are pay what you can, and are available at the Kelly Strayhorn website or at the door. Both screening events include a mixer at 6 p.m.

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