A little indie film that was born in Ithaca, NY has been getting lots of attention lately. It began as a senior thesis assignment for four college students, and has turned into what they hope will be a bridge into the film industry. Several months ago, Ithaca College film students Christina Bryant, Allie Taylor, Ayshea Khan, and Kelly Paul made “Jemila’s Tale.” They used local actors, funding from their IndieGoGo campaign, and help from friends as they hand-painted sets and worked tirelessly to produce the film. Following their thesis screening in May, they joined other young women filmmakers to hold the first ever HerStory Screening at the Women’s Community Building in Ithaca, NY. After graduating they began applying to film festivals all over the country. Now they’ve officially been accepted to the Reel Sisters Film Festival as well as the upcoming Urbanworld Film Festival. Jemila is NYC bound!
Jemila’s Tale tells the story of a young Black girl named Jemila. Jemila decides to write her own version of a fairytale, for class show-and-tell, when she discovers there are no princesses that look like her in the storybooks of her school library. Also having recently lost her mother, creating the fairytale becomes a much needed escape for Jemila. Jemila's Tale comes to life as she writes it, and it's especially adorable to watch the young actress play multiple storybook characters at once.
This film is great because it touches on some of the reasons we tell stories in the first place. We want to see reflections of ourselves, see our own lives, see a fantasy world to escape into, and to have a deeper understanding of the world. It’s an adorable and creative film that you should definitely go see.
The Urbanworld Film Festival, which is Sept. 14-18, focuses on redefining multicultural roles in modern cinema, television, and online media. It’s a four-day festival that will include documentaries, short films, features, panel discussions, and live staged screenplay readings. Jemila’s Tale will be screened in the Short Narrative Block 2, on Friday 9/16 at 4:30pm, as well as Saturday 9/17 at 3:45pm.
If you miss Urbanworld, you can see Jemila at the The Reel Sisters Film Festival on October 15 and 16. The Reel Sisters Film Festival provides opportunities for women of color in the film industry. It’s a three-day festival that will have more than twenty-five films directed, written, or produced by women of color. The festival will be held at Brooklyn's Kumble Theater.