Creative collective Saturday Morning has launched a new creative platform to showcase up-and-coming Black filmmakers and storytellers and honor the legacy of George Floyd, through a partnership with Tribeca Studios and Procter & Gamble’s ‘Widen The Screen’ initiative.
Debuting today, June 18th as part of the Tribeca Festival Juneteenth Program, 8:46 Films features four narrative short stories told in 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The goal is to reclaim the time that was taken from all of us with stories of joy and love. The films will be available for streaming via Tribeca at Home beginning June 19th. Watch the trailer below:
“We came together to create an experience to commemorate George Floyd and to shine an optimistic light on the Black experience,” explained Geoff Edwards, co-founder of Saturday Morning. “We thought that we could reframe that time through storytelling, and saw an opportunity to build an ongoing film series that would pay tribute to George Floyd while giving a voice to up and coming Black filmmakers.”
Saturday Morning brought the idea to Procter & Gamble, whom the group partnered with to produce The Look, the Emmy nominated film, and experience about unconscious bias. P&G embraced the idea and incorporated it into its 2021 “Widen the Screen” initiative, a sustained program to address systemic bias and inequality in advertising and media through platforms that celebrate creativity and enables Black creators to share the richness of the Black experience.
“It is time for the world to experience the full view of the joy, beauty and vastness of Black life, brought to the screen through stories told by innovative Black filmmakers and their crews,” said Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer for Procter & Gamble. “P&G is honored to work with our partners at Saturday Morning and Tribeca to premiere the 8:46 Films series, and we are deeply committed to continuing to advance equality by bringing meaningful opportunities for Black creators to showcase their talent and creative brilliance.”
The films include:
● She Dreams at Sunrise, from director Camrus Johnson, an animated film that shows how an elderly woman escapes her homebound reality through dreams while her great-nephew helps reconnect her to what she’s really missing.
● Slow Pulse – from award-winning director Marshall Tyler, a moving story of a father’s love for his coma-bound son, who takes up dancing to fulfill his son’s dreams.
● Pearl and Henry – from award-winning writer and director Gibrey Allen, a drama of the lifetime of love between a man and women faced with hard life challenges
● Cupids – a comedy from award-winning writer and director Zoey Martinson sees three kids create the perfect ‘matches’ for their school bus driver and essential worker so she won’t be alone in the summer when school is out.
“The common thread throughout these four amazing films is the diverse stories of love and the richness of the Black experience as expressed by these directors,” explained Keith Cartwright, co-founder of Saturday Morning. “Saturday Morning’s mission continues to bring to light new ways to address racial inequality. Moving our work into the world of entertainment is the next step in our growth as a movement.”
P&G is also co-producing a series of shorts under the Queen Collective in partnership with Tribeca Studios and Flavor Unit. The Queen Collective program aims to accelerate gender and racial equality behind the camera by supporting Black women directors. Four documentaries will premier in this series.
The launch of these new initiatives will be announced during a panel discussion on Friday, June 18th at 12 noon at Tribeca X studio with P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, Saturday Morning’s Geoff Edwards, B. Monét, Director of Ballet After Dark from Queen Collective, and Michele Ghee, CEO of Ebony and Jet.
The collective developed the idea for 8:46 Films over the past year and created the platform with P&G and Tribeca Studios to air the shorts. The collective curated the films that would air, working with the filmmakers directly.
“Our goal is to make this an ongoing series that will continue as a Juneteenth celebration,” said Kwame Taylor-Hayford, co-founder. “Tribeca Studios was a great partner and helped us connect with emerging talent to create these stories and build 8:46 Films as a new original festival within its existing program.”
In addressing the topics of the films, Jayanta Jenkins, co-founder of Saturday Morning said, “The narratives about Black men and the Black experience are much richer and fuller than the stories that have been told thus far by Hollywood. These films, even as short as they are, amplify positive and loving stories in an effort to take back that time that George Floyd lost.”