Short: See Me, Trailer
Daily routines intersect with the turmoil of the world outside as three Black Portlanders go about their day during the COVID shutdown in Oregon. Directed by Dawn Jones Redstone. Director's Statement In the summer of 2020, downtown Portland raged as people took to the streets after the release of bystander footage showing the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. National depictions seemed to suggest the city was in ruins. Most of us, watching from our homes, focused on the looming threat of the coronavirus. For months, we stayed isolated after the shutdown declared by the Governor. It was around this time that a group of seven writers at Artists Repertory Theatre got together to try to write a slice of life depiction of their own day-to-day experience as Black Portlanders during the shut down. Soon after, I was invited by Executive Producer, Kisha Jarrett, to direct what would become the short film, See Me. After several questions about what the project was--it has its own amazing genesis involving the use of Payroll Protection funds--I accepted the role and took it as an honor to be trusted to tell this story. In the virtual writer’s room with some of the original seven who had conceived of the short, I heard, more than anything else, that they wanted to be seen—not as victims of trauma or subjects of politicized plot lines - but as individuals going about their lives, just like everybody else. They brush their teeth. They take their Zoom calls. They wonder about the future of our country. And these particular images of Black people are uncommon in a storytelling landscape that often focuses on BIPOC trauma. As a queer, Latinx filmmaker myself, I know how critical it is to tell stories of struggle to create understanding and justice in our society. But I also understand the need to be represented as a whole person that is so much more than how we’ve been oppressed or how we have to be resilient--again and again and again. What I love about the stories we came up with is that these characters are all striving for better versions of themselves in deeply uncertain times. A grandfather who must learn to seek help when he needs it. An agoraphobic who dreams of releasing the anxiety that traps them inside. And a woman who endures the microaggressions of the white people she’s surrounded by to find empowering creative expression for the inner rage she’s perhaps not allowed to otherwise show. The stories, made richer by the actors who poured themselves into them, reveal humor, anger, joy, hope AND power. See Me is an effort to tell a story about three people as they go about their day. They also check their phones. They burn their toast. They listen to the news. And in the context of all that is happening right now, they try to get by--just like the rest of us. I hope that when you watch it, you can also see yourself; as a person struggling for a purpose within the mundane, as a human allowing small moments of levity to help release the pressure valve of the world. Maybe even above all else, you could see yourself in them as they let people in beyond the Zoom screens, lay down their body armor and allow themselves to be seen. Voted Best Pacific Northwest Film at Tacoma Film Festival. Visit Artists Repertory's website to learn more. https://artistsrep.org/performance/see-me-2/
Short: Sista in the Brotherhood, Trailer
An apprentice carpenter facing discrimination must choose between keeping her job or making a stand. (2016) Currently distributed by Collective Eye. https://www.collectiveeye.org/products/sista-in-the-brotherhood Winner Best Short Film and Best Oregon Short Film at Portland International Film Festival in Portland, OR Winner Best Narrative Short at Workers United Film Festival in NYC Winner Spirit Award at Reel Sisters Film Festival in NYC Winner Best Short at Local Sightings Film Festival in Seattle, WA Official Selection Portland Film Festival Official Selection Sarasota Film Festival Official Selection Bronze Lens Film Festival Official Selection International Black Film Festival Official Selection Bluestocking Film Series Official Selection Revolution Me Film Festival Official Selection Portland Oregon Women's Festival Official Selection San Francisco Black Film Festival Official Selection Afrikana Independent Film Festival Official Selection Local Sightings Film Festival in Seattle Directed by Dawn Jones Redstone Produced by Roberta Hunte Written by Dawn Jones Redstone and Kjerstin Johnson Co-Executive Produced by Dawn Jones Redstone and Roberta Hunte Starring sidony o'neal www.sistainthebrotherhood.com
Short: We Have Our Ways, Trailer
In a dystopic but recognizable America, street riots are common, tap water is undrinkable, and you’re lucky if you get health insurance. Regina (played by Sidony O'neal) usually keeps her head down to just get by, especially at work. As a customer service rep for Alleviate, she must reject health coverage for desperate callers all day in order to do her job. But when her younger cousin Abigail is in need of a criminalized medical procedure, she must decide what price she’s willing to pay for justice. The film also stars Paige Moreland and Ana del Rocío. We Have Our Ways was written by Kjerstin Johnson, directed by Dawn Jones Redstone, produced by Christian Henry and made possible by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. * 2018 Winner - Best Oregon Short Film - Portland International Film Festival * Official Selection - 2018 Portland International Film Festival * Named one of Willamette Week's 'Favorite Portland Movies' * Official Selection - 2018 Bronze Lens Film Festival of Atlanta * Official Selection - 2018 San Antonio Film Festival * Official Selection - 2018 Local Sightings Film Festival in Seattle * Official Selection - 2018 The Workers Unite Film Festival in NY * Official Selection - 2018 Afrikana Film Festival in VA * Official Selection - 2018 Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival in NY Purchased by Aspire TV owned by Magic Johnson Enterprises for release.
Feature Doc: Graphic Means, Trailer
Dawn served as the Director of Photography on this film. Go to www.graphicmeans.com to learn more! Graphic Means is now touring theaters, festivals and events through the end of the year. It was released for educational/institutional license sales in January 2018, and will be for the general public in November 2018.