: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


In “Little Haiti” Brooklyn a teenager challenges the ‘Angry Black Woman’ trope through charged poetry that ignites a quest for intergenerational healing and reclaiming her childhood in this lyrical coming-of-age film.


Unfolding as a love letter to herself, UNFILTERED follows an unabashed teenager named Tamia as she carves her place in a world that instinctively sees her as an “Angry Black Woman”. As a part of a school assignment, she pens an original spoken word called “C19H28O2” – the molecular formula for testosterone – pointing out its connection to anger while simultaneously harnessing the power of such a complex emotion. Through her quick-lipped poetic voice, she reclaims a title callously placed on her and relinquishes the burden society has attached to it. With an impending move to an out-of-state college around the corner, Tamia sets off to mend a fragile relationship with her father and provide guiding emotional support for her younger sisters – all while fighting to maintain the tenderness her childhood deserves. What started as a personal mission extends as a memoir to her little sisters as they watch, learn and grow into their own.


With a character-driven verite storyline representing the present, rich personal archival representing the past and poetic performance vignettes representing a future, escapist world – UNFILTERED utilizes a non-linear story structure that maneuvers between reality and radical imagination.

Observational verite isn’t merely a camera style, but also offers a mostly uninterrupted recording experience where the filmmaking team doesn’t impose ideas that might not otherwise be natural to the film participants. 

Shaped by her narrative voice, the film unfolds as a love letter Tamia is writing to herself. But rather than simply exist as reflective commentary, her inner monologue intercuts with her poetic voice, often blending the two in a melodic harmony. Even more, her poetry comes to life during stylized performance vignettes of “C19H28O2” whereby Tamia is able to break the fourth wall and speak directly to camera. Because Tamia’s writing reflects contemporary issues that are painful and hostile for Black people, this artistic element serves as a safe haven where Tamia can retreat and expand on any given topic. The performance vignettes are interwoven with verite and always motivated by a disruptive story cue in Tamia’s day to day, like her Sweet 16.

We’ll see a different segment of “C19H28O2” performed 3-5 times over the course of an approximately 85-minute film. Revisiting her poem won’t feel like a repetition, but as a storytelling device where we gain deeper meaning than verite alone might fully realize. 

We’re aware that Tamia possesses a deep understanding of herself and the world. As filmmakers we want to be cognizant of the adult-like responsibility that leaves Tamia no choice but to be wise beyond her years. This means we’ll pay careful attention to not establish Tamia in an all-knowing way that inadvertently perpetuates her adultification. At the same time, it’s important to boldly call attention to how she unflinchingly responds to conflict so as to not censor her or strip her of agency. In service of this balance, the stylized performance vignettes will juxtapose lyrics that utilize her more mature voice with her childhood archival – emphasizing she wasn’t born an Angry Black Woman, and is desperately clinging on to her childhood before it slips away.

The production of the stylized element has been a huge collaborative effort with Tamia, her family, and her Flatbush community. Tamia also advises on scenes she wants us to film and communicates the value her suggestions hold. We’ll continue to consult with her as we film more cinematic elements as well as performance vignettes so that we accurately build out her escapist world. She’s also agreed to write any additional narration needed, and will receive a “written by” credit. 

Lastly, the film’s sonic world will emphasize both Tamia and London’s laughter, silliness and pre-teen/teenage vernacular. As they both grow on screen over the course of four years, the film has a special interest to revel in the beauty and innocence of their youth during a specific and tender age span for the both of them.


Chelsi Bullard - Director/Producer

Chelsi Bullard (Director/Producer) is a Memphis-born and Brooklyn-based filmmaker and editor with an unwavering desire to restore beauty, well-being and complexity in stories about Black folx. She is a 2023 Big Sky Pitch participant and 2022-2023 Brown Girls Doc Mafia Black Directors Fellow. She edited the feature documentary THE RIGHT TO READ (Santa Barbara, 2023 and SXSW EDU, 2023) with director Jenny Mackenzie and executive producer LeVar Burton. She also recently co-edited LOCKED OUT (Freep Film Festival, 2023) with award-winning directors Kate Davis and Luchina Fisher. Producing credits include the feature documentary COMING AROUND directed by Sandra Itäinen (Frameline, 2023). Directing credits include the short documentaries ON THE LEDGE (DOC NYC, 2017) and HIDDEN WISDOM (Socially Relevant Film Festival, 2016). Chelsi is an alum of the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio and the DocSalon Toolbox Programme at the European Film Market (EFM) at Berlinale.

Hima B. - Producer

Hima B. is a queer South Asian & independent writer/director/producer who makes social issue documentaries, narratives, experimental films and videos. She is interested in exploring the lives of LGBTQ people, women & girls, and people of color through the lens of race, gender, sexual orientation, labor, & economics. Her 1st documentary, STRAIGHT FOR THE MONEY: INTERVIEWS WITH QUEER SEX WORKERS (1994), premiered at the 1994 San Francisco Int’l. Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 1994 Whitney Museum’s series "From India to America: New Directions in Indian American Film" & 1995 Whitney Biennial.

Uwa Iduozee - Cinematographer

Uwa Iduozee (DP) is a Finnish-Nigerian cinematographer and documentary photographer currently based in Brooklyn, NY. His recent multidisciplinary project THEY WALKED ON WATER has exhibited at multiple venues, including the 2021 Helsinki Biennial and The Festival of Political Photography, and his photo project BLIND SPOT(S) was exhibited at the Helsinki Museum of Photography in 2021. In 2020 he was the Director of Photography on the film TRUMPIN AMERIKAN TULEVAISUUS (engl. THE FUTURE OF TRUMP’S AMERICA) which aired nationally in Finland. Iduozee challenges traditional visual representations of Blackness, and aims to re-envision the reductive, simplistic, and often harmful portrayals of people across the African diaspora.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2023
Puffin Foundation
SocDoc Production Grant
Chicken & Egg Pictures
Edinburgh Pitch 2023
Big Sky Pitch 2023
NYC Women's Fund
Music on Film Film on Music Grant - Denver Film Society
Only In New York - DOC NYC
Pitch Perfect - DOC NYC
Black Directors Fellowship - Brown Girls Doc Mafia
SVA Alumni Grant
Lucius and Eva Eastman Foundation Grant


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