Directed by Max Powers (USA, 2018, 96 min.). Digital.
A team of young New York City slam poets finds its voice as it competes for the National Championship during the summer of 2016. Mentored by a demanding coach who encourages them to push past their personal boundaries and write from a place of vulnerability, pain and honesty, the poets break down, break through, and compose their best work ever. Timely and difficult, their spoken word slays—but will these soul-searching pieces about police violence and the whitewashing of black culture be able to compete against choreographed crowd-pleasers for the title? Will opting to make a statement instead of a show spell defeat for the team? An emotional and inspiring film that gives insightful commentary on race, gender, identity, and sexual politics in America today, Don’t Be Nice is both an absorbing competition doc and a vital writer’s workshop that proves once and for all that winning hearts and minds is the ultimate prize.
Directed by Robert-Jonathan Koeyers (USA, 2019, 6 min.). Digital.
An experimental visual poem inviting people to step into lived black experience for a moment. Combining film, animation, photography, and archival footage, Here explores what blackness means to the filmmaker, as well as what it might mean to others.