With all the social justice going around of late you cannot help but wonder if it is going to result in any kind of real (long past needed) change. It is with films like Cherry Lemonade and filmmakers like Aisha Ford that you faith is restored. With only her second short film, the 4th year student of the prestigious NYU Tish School of the Arts has, against all odds, made a film which is female and person of colour centered. Two vastly underrepresented populations in the film world. Much talk has been made about evening things out, but change is often slow. Ford does not only talk the talk as she definitely does plenty of walking here as behind the scenes of the film the crew was 90% female and female identifying and 50% Black, Indigenous or Person of Colour.
She had really already won me over before a minute of the film. The film itself, in its short 10 minutes, also brought it. The story brings the focus to the potential dangers a young girl can face going out into the world (any part of it) on her own. That risk is augmented when you are black and live in a low income neighbourhood. Sometimes, no matter how people around you have told you that the world is a dangerous place if you are a girl (Eris Baker – from television’s This Is Us) and you need to be able to defend yourself, you just want to buy a drink at the local corner store. Doesn’t seem like a trip in which you might be putting yourself in danger now does it?
Ford is a filmmaker with a vision and a voice. She is most certainly someone we are going to hear from in the future. Able to take a simple idea or story and inject it with texture and layers making it very impactful. Along with socially conscious and asking questions of the viewer and society at large. She was able to make this with little money and still have it be of depth, relevance and importance.
The short film is part of the Juneteenth and Shining Stars Shorts programs at this year’s Tribeca.