BAYCAT is proud to announce that Youth Media Producer Alia Gabrielle has garnered two official film festival selections for her short autobiographical documentary, The Beach: My Diary. Alia’s film will be screening at the I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival later this month, an Oakland-based festival celebrating its second year exhibiting the work of talented San Francisco Bay Area filmmakers.
The Beach: My Diary will also be featured exclusively for the online film festival channel of the International Black Women’s Film Festival, MOVING IMAGES FORWARD. Alia’s documentary was selected to be celebrated along with works from the U.K., Australia, Senegal, South Africa, Zanzibar, France, Canada, Malawi, Kenya, and more. Alongside these films, The Beach: My Diary helps to continue the festival’s tradition of pushing beyond the Hollywood-construed stereotypes of black women populating popular media, and instead showcasing the the stories of black women as self-represented through their own voices.
The film centers on Alia’s relationship with the beach- why it’s special to her, how it gives her peace, and how it helps connect her with her mother. BAYCAT recently conducted a short interview with Alia; during the interview Alia shared that her mother was also a filmmaker, and spoke about one film in particular she helped her mother make: “it was actually about the beach…and it was a story about a little girl finding her way in life.” Earlier this spring, Alia found her way to BAYCAT Academy. While taking classes as a Youth Media Producer, Alia found the inspiration and opportunity to tell her own story. “I kinda had all that bundled up inside and BAYCAT let me express it finally.” Her reaction to her film’s success: “I was shocked: I was like, wow my film was that good that it got into those film festivals.”
Alia shared that while she plans to continue making films in the future, she also hopes to pursue her passion for helping kids in the foster care system. Alia says that before becoming adopted by her mother, “when I was younger and I was in the foster system, I wanted someone to support it more…the thing I wanna do is kinda be like a big sister…And help them out and make sure that they’re not alone. Make sure they don’t feel alone.”
You can catch Alia’s film on September 28th at the I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival and online from midnight December 4th to 11:59PM/PST December 14, 2014 at the International Black Women’s Film Festival’s MOVING IMAGES FORWARD.