Female Director Danae Grandison Brings The Conversation Of #MeToo To Jamaica In Short Film UNSPOKEN
The short film, "Unspoken," directed by Jamaican-born, New York-based director Danae Grandison has been named an official selection in the 27th annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF), set to take place February 7-18, 2019 at Cinemark Rave 15, located at 3650 Martin LUTHER King Drive, and the adjacent Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles.
This year, the 12-day festival will feature more than 100 fine artists and 150 new films from over 40 countries, representing five continents in 26 languages. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country. In a Reader's Choice poll by USA Today, PAFF nabbed the #3 spot in its 2015 top ten list of "Best Film Festivals."
"UNSPOKEN" SCREENING TIMES:
? Monday, February 11, 2019 at 8:25 p.m.
? Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 1:15 p.m.
? Monday, February 18, 2019 at 5:20 p.m.
"Unspoken" | 12 minutes | movie synopsis
In the 12-minute short, "Unspoken," Grandison brings the conversation of #MeToo to the backyard of her hometown - that is, Kingston, Jamaica. Based on the novel, The Bed Head, by Jennifer Grahame, "Unspoken" explores the lives of characters - that is, Caroline and Icy -- who are bound and burdened by duty. One is a married woman, and part of Jamaica's affluent society while the other woman is the hired live-in help, expected to oblige her employers' personal requests. The undertones in the story are about two women connected by living untold truths and heartbreak. Shot in Kingston, Jamaica, "Unspoken" explores the unsaid truths of power, class, and money within a society at large.
The film's ensemble cast consists of Jamaican born actors, including Kimberly Patterson, most known for her debut breakout lead role in "King of the Dancehall," starring Nick Cannon. Patterson also portrays Ruby in BET's "The Family Business." Rounding out the cast is model-turned-actress Katrina Spencer, making her film debut, and Hector Lincoln ("Law & Order: SVU," "Orange is the New Black," and Jamaican TV's popular series, "Royal Palm Estate") along with accomplished film and stage actor Jerry Benzwick ("Almost Heaven" and "The First Black Britons"), who also serves as the chairman of Jamaica Rugby Football.
"The film delves into Jamaica's classicism, and the particular way it manifests through gender. It's a more introspective look at the ways in which these two women are victims of circumstance," said Grandison. "I set out to explore and juxtapose the relationship between these two women, as it's severed by betrayal. This juncture of the relationship between the two women mirrors colonial ideology, where the higher-class woman is in conflict with the lower-class woman as it occupies this space of control. I want the audience to see and experience both of these women, their position, their voice, their power, or lack thereof," she explained.
Also, in the era of the #MeToo and TIME'S UP movements, "Unspoken" offers a snapshot of sexual harassment and inequality in a workplace that's not a movie set, casting couch or office setting. Instead, it shows systemic ABUSE OF POWER in the most relatable and vulnerable situation.
Last year, "Unspoken" made its world premiere at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York. Currently, Grandison is working on the feature-length script for the "Unspoken." The film is executive produced by Grandison and Dennis Smith, with cinematography by Edward A. Herrera.
To view the trailer of "Unspoken," visit https://vimeo.com/268523028/119fdc8a26
Danae Grandison -- a graphic designer-turned-writer/director -- is an award-winning filmmaker who is a passionate storyteller, using moving images to express her point of view. Jamaican born and bred, Grandison spent her life between two cities - that is, Kingston and New York, which played a big part in her love and passion for life.
She enjoyed a long career in design, working with companies and media outlets, such as McCann, VP Records, Sports Illustrated, Black Enterprise as well as brands like AT&T, Microsoft and HALLS - just to name a few. In 2011, she discovered an "Intro to Filmmaking" course at the School of the Visual Arts (SVA) where she shot and directed her first silent film, "Unconditional Love." It nabbed the SVA Audience Award, and at that point, she realized that she had found a new medium for her voice.
In 2016, she graduated from SVA with a master's degree in directing. For her thesis short film, she wrote and directed "[Re]Defined," which premiered at film festivals - Urbanworld Film Festival in New York and PAFF in L.A., respectively.
Established in 1992, the Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) -- a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization --has remained dedicated to showcasing a broad spectrum of Black creative works; particularly, those that reinforce positive images and help to advance cultures, races and lifestyles. PAFF also serves as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our time and aides in the promotion of cultural understanding between peoples of African descent.
PAFF attracts a diverse and global audience, hailing from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Canada, South America and the South Pacific, which translates into over 90K art fest attendees, 40K film enthusiasts and 5,000 students, annually. PAFF is directed by Hollywood veterans Danny Glover ("The Color Purple," "Proud Mary"), Ja'Net DuBois ("Good Times") and executive director Ayuko Babu. For more details and ticket information, visit www.PAFF.org.