BDC Films Fellows Screening + Q&A

BDC Films Fellows Screening + Q&A


Sep 19, 2023 | 6:30pm


The Bronx Documentary Center invites the community to a special screening featuring documentary shorts created by filmmakers in the BDC Films Fellowship Program, a course that seeks to empower and support traditionally underrepresented documentary filmmakers who are interested in pursuing film.

Speak! by Sarah Alvira

This coming-of-age story follows a group of tenacious eighth-grade debaters in the South Bronx, as they reflect on their journey through life’s hurdles and the alienating experiences of the debate world. Mariah, Kenzy, and Freylin navigate obstacles of identity and belonging as newcomers to the Bronx.

Sarah Alvira is a Bronx native filmmaker, and has a BA from SUNY Purchase in Arts Management. Sarah is known for her guerilla-style videography work for the viral performance artist, Jonothon Lyons. Her current work mostly consists of surrealist narratives; she looks forward to transitioning to documentaries.

Making Braids by Similejesu (Simi) Sonubi

An exploration into the intimate world of African Hair Salons, Making Braids is a short documentary detailing the stories of African women in the diaspora, and their relationship to their native land and their adopted homes through the essential act of making braids. Stories woven together by fingers of the trusted braider, these women narrate their joys, frustrations and love of braiding their hair in America.

Similejesu (Simi) Sonubi is a Nigerian-born, Bronx-based filmmaker who focuses on narratives that highlight the black femme experience. Her previous work has dealt with mental illness in African immigrant communities. Similejesu is truly passionate about Nigerian affairs, especially Yoruba history and culture and is looking forward to also continuing to direct projects on the black femme experience in both American and African contexts.

Tender by Agasha Irving

This film follows a foundation in Atlanta working to help support mothers living on the margins. Through their community initiatives, this group of women demonstrate their understanding for how Atlanta’s limited accessibility to public transit affects marginalized families. This film works to emphasize the importance of mutual aid through the perspective of a community of people working to fill in the gaps.

Agasha Irving is a visual artist from Atlanta, Georgia, currently based in New York. Their work focuses on education, public health and uplifting marginalized communities. Agasha holds a BA in Film and Television Production from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. They hope to continue editing, producing, and directing work that impacts people.

Being Jezebel by Auralynn Rosario

Part narrative-driven and part experimental, Being Jezebel is a short documentary that pays homage to the commonality of sex working women's experience. Through first-hand testimonies from Black women working in the sex industry. Being Jezebel explores personal stories about race, class, and gender, and how they intersect with their sex work background.

Auralynn Rosario is a Harlem-based filmmaker. She is the 2019 recipient of the Helen Gurley Brown Magic Grant from Smith College, the 2021 New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) scholarship award and was a 2020 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Scholar. As a filmmaker, she strives to tell stories that challenge the status quo, raise questions, and affect social change.

BDC Films was created in response to the need for more film training programs for traditionally underrepresented documentary filmmakers in the Bronx that can help increase employment in creative industries. BDC Films is run by Director of the BDC Films Fellowship Program, Tânia Cypriano. We are currently accepting applications for the 2023/2024 Fellowship until July 31, 2023, learn more and apply here.

Images: Film stills. (1) Agasha Irving; (2) © Sarah Alvira; (3) © Auralynn Rosario; (4) © Similejesu (Simi) Sonubi