BLACK GIRL IN PARIS

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TYPE
: Narrative Feature
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Development

LOGLINE

In 1986, a young Black woman from Alabama follows in James Baldwin’s footsteps as she pursues her dream of becoming a writer in Paris.

SYNOPSIS

Eden, a young Black woman from Alabama moves to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Set in 1986 Paris, this coming-of-age tale follows Eden as she falls in with bohemians and expats and embarks on a journey of self-discovery, ultimately realizing the power of her own voice.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

As filmmakers, Natalie Baszile and Hyacinth Parker are committed to telling, realistic, nuanced stories of Black people and people of color; stories that show them moving through the world as whole human beings—flawed but also joyous, engaged in struggle but also resilient. In our work, we are determined to widen the lens too often focused only on Black pain and trauma, to reveal Black life unfolding in quieter, ordinary moments. We feel compelled to tell stories that offer up measured, understated portraits, creating scenes, that in their stillness, embody great emotional shifts, reversals, and revelations. In developing our cinematic approach, we are inspired by films that while grounded in reality are deeply poetic and lyrical. MOONLIGHT, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, and PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE all map their characters’ interior terrain without pomp and noise. These films stop time, inviting viewers to linger in the characters' minds and hearts, ultimately creating space for a quiet and unexpected reality. BLACK GIRL IN PARIS captures the spirit of these films, and further disrupts our assumptions as it explores what it means to be a young Black queer woman abroad. The film engages with critical themes around identity, race, sexuality, and gender, but it does so in a compelling and unique context of Black expat life in 1980s Paris. The story centers on one young artist’s quest to connect with James Baldwin, and is timeless and timely as it invites audiences to grapple with the compelling questions of our day. Our job as filmmakers is to celebrate the breadth and depth of the Black experience, telling stories that reveal Black people and people of color living their ordinary lives as a revolutionary act. Our goal is to create films that place people of color in the center of the story, and ultimately pioneer a new era of storytelling in which a character’s race is just one in a constellation of features that define them.

KEY CREW

Natalie Baszile - Writer / Director
Natalie Baszile is the author of Queen Sugar, which is being adapted for television by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey. Queen Sugar was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for Fiction and shortlisted for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize. Natalie’s new non-fiction book We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating Black Farmers, Land & Legacy, is forthcoming from HarperCollins (April 2021). Natalie has had residencies at Ragdale Foundation, VCCA, Hedgebrook, and Djerassi Resident Arts Program where she was the SFFILM / Bonnie Rattner Fellow. Her non-fiction work has appeared in Lenny Letter, The Bitter Southerner, O, The Oprah Magazine, and numerous anthologies. She has taught fiction at Saint Mary’s College and Sierra Nevada University. She is currently a 3rd year resident at SFFILM.

Hyacinth Parker - Co-Writer / Co-Director
Hyacinth Parker is a first time filmmaker. After extensive travels, from Havana, Cuba to Ahmedabad, India, Hyacinth ultimately lived in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, where she witnessed how entertainment transcends race, class, religion, and culture. Hyacinth’s unique experiences have deepened her understanding of diverse cultures and global trends. Her global perspective gives her insight into what compels people from all backgrounds and inspired Hyacinth to tell stories about African Americans and people of color abroad. Hyacinth’s goal through her storytelling is to refocus the lens not only on Black people, but on the dynamics helds between people of color; to shift from Black vs. White and explore the relationships between Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, etc. as well as the nuances within each of these groups. Throughout her career, Hyacinth has explored the intersection of art, culture, technology, and politics, and used her broad outlook to create content that comes from unusual places and resonates across the human experience.

Frazer Bradshaw - Creative Producer / Director of Photography
Frazer Bradshaw began his career with a rigorous education in the painting, sculpture and photography before finding his way into filmmaking. Because of his visual arts training, Bradshaw is most connected with the visual aspects of filmmaking. Cinematography became an obvious career choice because of his drive to create distinctive cinematic language for visual storytelling. As a DP, Bradshaw has built a substantial resume shooting both independent productions and commercial media, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally. Bradshaw has shot a host of projects, including 14 narrative feature films and six feature documentaries, as well as hundreds of shorts, commercials, music videos and corporates. Resume highlights include work on Focus Feature’s Babies, Jamie Melter’s Informant, Tom E Brown's Pushing Dead and his own feature, Everything Strange and New, which he both shot and directed, and which premiered at Sundance and was nominated for both Spirit and Gotham Awards.

Maira Memmi - Producer
Maira Memmi is a Bay Area filmmaker and producer. Born in France and raised in Mexico, Maira has always had a passion for using the power of story to shift perspectives and create positive change. She moved to the United States to pursue her passion of cinema, and found her home and career within the Bay Area film industry. Maira has produced a variety of short films, commercials, and music videos and has worked as a production coordinator and locations coordinator for Netflix, ABC, and Amazon. Her most recent feature credits include VEMON, BLINDSPOTTING, and ALL DAY AND A NIGHT.

 

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ACCOLADES

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The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2021

 

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