CHICAGO—The Ministry of Arts and Culture presented a special film screening and panel discussion at Saviours’ Day 2018. “Shaded Smiles,” a 20-minute film premiered in one of the meeting rooms to a crowd of mostly teens and young adults.
“Shaded Smiles” is an independent film written by Darryl (D. Roe) 11X and Elijah LeFlore. According to the films INDIEGOGO website, “The film was inspired by black women’s ability to prosper and thrive despite the issues, damage, and pain they experience. We wanted to ensure that we were accurate with the concerns of black women. The stories in this film are inspired by actual events of women who went through what you will see in the film. The goal is to inspire our people and the world over, to protect, respect, and to do better by our women and girls.”
The discussion held after the viewing of the film, was moderated by Kenya Muhammad who introduced members of the cast and crew. During the question and answer session attendee Dedra Muhammad took a moment to reflect on the film stating that her connection with one of the characters was like looking in the mirror. She says that life has a way of bringing things back to you, so that you can see yourself.
Kelsey Burrus one of the film’s producers talked about the production of the film thanking her mother and the rest of the cast and crew for support. Ms. Burrus said that the project had a lot of bumps in the road including the first day of shooting when the crew started with only $500 in the budget. “A crew of 40 making a film in 6 days is a lot of work, but day by day so many blessings came through, and by walking in faith and the support of the community we were able to accumulate more than $1,200 by the last day of filming,” she said.
In response to a question about the film’s next step, Ms. Burrus stated that the crew is in the midst of entering the film into film festivals across the country. She urged those that truly believe in the message that the film portrays to please help to get the message out into the world, through donations and supporting the film on social media.
Kenya Muhammad closed out the question and answer session with a quote from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan stating that “Faith never lets you down, illusions that are rooted in a short hope, will always let you down but if you have faith, real faith in Allah anything that you put your mind to you can do it.”