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SF Black Film Fest tackles sexual identity with short ‘We Love Moses’

June 8, 2017

by The People’s Minister of Information JR

Identity is a big topic in the Black community, because we live under white supremacist capitalistic domination here in the U.S. and in the so called Western world. In the dramatic short “We Love Moses,” sexual identity among Black people is what is being discussed in a way that is not often talked about.

Danae Jean Marie in “We Love Moses”

Check out filmmaker Dionne Edwards as she talks about “We Love Moses,” which was selected to screen this year at the San Francisco Black Film Festival.

M.O.I. JR: What inspired you to write the story “We Love Moses”?

Dionne Edwards: I wanted to tell a story about a young girl’s first obsessive crush in a really subjective and cinematic way. In the U.K. in particular, there’s next to nothing in terms of the young Black female experience at the center of films and TV shows.

So, I wanted to tell the kind of story that I would’ve loved to have seen as a young Black girl – but in the end we all know what it feels like to have butterflies, to stalk our crushes and to feel heartbroken – so anyone of any age, color or creed can identify with her experience and with some of the wider themes in the film.

M.O.I. JR: How long did it take for you to complete this project from pre-production to post-production?

Dionne Edwards: I actually wrote the first draft of the script around 2009 and I tinkered with it a bit over the years, while I made other shorts. It actually took about 10 months from full on-script development right up to the finished film.

Jerome Holder and Raphel Famotibe in “We Love Moses”

M.O.I. JR: Do you plan to make this short into a feature film? Why or why not?

Dionne Edwards: I don’t have any plans to turn it into a feature at the moment because I see this story as quite complete in its current format and I have a few other projects on the go that I’m really excited about – but never say never.

M.O.I. JR: Where else has this film screened? Where are you planning to take it?

Dionne Edwards: It’s mainly screened at various festivals in the U.K., but it’s starting to spread out – we have screenings coming up in Italy and Germany. We’re excited to premiere at the American Black Film Festival, where it’s nominated for an HBO Short Film Award. I’m hoping to get it everywhere – Asia, Africa, Australia too.

M.O.I. JR: What is the message that you want people to take away after watching this film?

Dionne Edwards: I think that from an early age our sexuality is governed – it’s seen as a shameful and embarrassing thing that needs to be policed. I guess I’m trying to comment on this in “We Love Moses,” and I hope it can move people and start a dialogue.

Filmmaker Dionne Edwards

M.O.I. JR: How did you feel after being selected to screen at the SF Black Film Fest this year?

Dionne Edwards: Super excited – this is the second time round I’ve had a film selected for SFBFF. My previous film “Hi, Miss!” screened there in 2015, so I’m honored that “We Love Moses” has been selected this year. It’s an important festival that has been supportive of my work.

M.O.I. JR: How do people keep up with your work?

Dionne Edwards: I have a little company called Teng Teng Films, which I co-run with my producer Georgia. You can check the page here: www.tengtengfilms.com. You can also hit me up on Twitter: @Dionceknowledge.

The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey, journalist, author and filmmaker, can be reached at blockreportradio@gmail.com or on Facebook. And tune in to BlockReportRadio.com. The 2017 San Francisco Black Film Festival runs June 15-18; learn more at SFBFF.org.

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