February 2, 2007
The attached clip was forwarded to me by a friend. Although I am not a fan of forwards, I didn’t delete this one because the friend who sent it isn’t usually a fan of forwards either. So, I figured that it had to be something worth checking out. I was confused, saddened, outraged and shocked by what I saw.
A little background courtesy of Media That Matters Film Festival
A Girl Like Me
Kiri Davis, Director, Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, Producer
Winner of the Diversity Award
Sponsored by Third Millennium Foundation
ABOUT THE FILM
More About A Girl Like Me from Director Kiri Davis
For my high-school literature class I was constructing an anthology with a wide range of different stories that I believed reflected the black girl’s experience. For the different chapters, I conducted interviews with a variety of black girls in my high school, and a number of issues surfaced concerning the standards of beauty imposed on today’s black girls and how this affects their self-image. I thought this topic would make an interesting film and so when I was accepted into the Reel Works Teen Filmmaking program, I set out to explore these issues. I also decided to would reconduct the “doll test” initially conducted by Dr. Kenneth Clark, which was used in the historic desegregation case, Brown vs. Board of Education. I thought that by including this experiment in my film, I would shed new light on how society affects black children today and how little has actually changed.
With help from my mentor, Shola Lynch, and thanks to the honesty and openness of the girls I interviewed, I was able to complete my first documentary in the fall of 2005. I learned that giving the girls an opportunity to talk about these issues and their experiences helped us all to look deeper and examine the many things in society that affect us and shape who we are.
Kiri Davis, Director
I knew from an early age that film was a medium I wanted to work in. Through my films I’ve found a way of expressing myself as well as telling the stories that are important to me. At sixteen, I directed my first documentary, A Girl Like Me. Before that, I created numerous short films and attended the New York Film Academy. I would love to pursue a career in filmmaking as well as to explore my passions for acting and writing. I have a love of traveling, which affords me the opportunity to meet new people and explore other cultures. My goal is to develop more projects that will help my community and give a much needed voice to issues that pertain to people of color. I am currently attending Urban Academy, a NYC public high school, and I live with my mother in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.