Film is more than a form of entertainment, it is a means of expression and a gateway to important conversations to be had in our community.
Award-winning director and screenwriter Davar McGee created a short film about police brutality titled “Suspect?” The film won awards including Film of Merit from the Best Shorts Film Festival. McGee worked with Brian Few, Jr. and Dennis Harmon on “Suspect?” Few’s role for the film was cinematographer and editor while McGee wrote the screenplay and directed the short, and Harmon created the musical score.
Said Few, “McGee is heavy on the dialogue so I challenged him to do it in silent form.” “We came up with a six-minute short that doesn’t have any dialogue whatsoever, but it is causing people to talk, which is exactly why we do this.”
McGee recently started a crowdfunding campaign (www.gofundme.com/trinityhighfilm) for his first feature film "Trinity High," which is currently in pre-production and McGee described it as “an anti-bullying campaign film.” The trailer for “Trinity High” premiered on July 6 with NAACP Minneapolis Chapter.
McGee and Few are also part of a non-profit for Black filmmakers in the Twin Cities started by Leonard Searcy and David J. Buchanan.
“There is a lot of talent here (Twin Cities) in the Black community and what we want to be able to do is provide resources,” said Searcy, president of Westbone Productions LLC. Searcy is also a film producer and actor.
“The nonprofit we are doing is specifically to help out Black filmmakers in Minnesota,” said Buchanan. “I’ve seen there is a need for it in the commercial space.”
Senior director of Guest Experience and Educational Services at the Minnesota Historical Society, Melanie Adams, said cinema can create needed dialogue between divergent people and cultures.
“I really do like films that get at what happening in our communities today,” said Adams.
Adams said films about topics such as bullying and police brutality can open the door to teachable moment conversations especially with those not directly affected by the issue.
“You have shared information, a shared experience. It easier for people outside our experience to discuss police brutality after they just sat through a film about it,” said Adams.
Adams, McGee, Few, Searcy and Buchanan were interviewed on “Conversations with Al McFarlane.” The one-hour program airs on 90.3 FM and 106.7 FM (St. Paul), KFAI, on Tuesdays at 1 p.m “Conversations with Al McFarlane” is available online at www.kfai.org/conversationswithalmcfarlane.
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