SAVANNAH WRITER AND EDUCATOR LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO PRODUCE FIRST-EVER BLACK LGBTQ+ SHORT FILM, PRITTY: THE ANIMATION
SAVANNAH, GA – Embargoed: 10:30 a.m. March 11, 2021 – Pritty: The Animation – the first-ever, Black, queer animated short film based in Savannah is launching its Kickstarter Long Story Short campaign on Thursday, March 11 to reach their next stretch goal of $125,000 on the path to raising 1.6M for the total production budget.
Keith F. Miller, Jr.,an award-winning educator, artist, researcher, and Savannah native wrote a soon-to-be published LGBTQ+ novel inspired by the complexity of growing up Black and queer in the Deep South. Founder of Healing By Any Means, a creative consultancy and production company that powers people, projects, and research at the heart of systems and narrative change using art, media, and healing-focused pedagogy, Keith crossed paths with a NYU filmmaker, Terrance Daye, and together, they reimagined a chapter of his novel into a short film – Pritty: The Animation.
To donate to the Campaign, please visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/prittyfilm/pritty-the-animation.
This story was created in response to a startling, ever-present truth: boys and young men of color face innumerable obstacles that prevent them from living long, full, healthy, and productive, emotionally-rich lives. Miller believes there is a correlation between the limited range of queer youth of color representation on screen and the staggering number of suicide attempts LGBTQ+ youth around the country. Unfortunately, most queer coming-of-age films habitually reproduce traumas onscreen without visualizing futures beyond the “coming out” experience.
Pritty: The Animation aims to address this disparity by showcasing youth of color, specifically Black men, in an unconventional light. Instead of perpetuating the same narrative of Black boys fighting, belittling, and harming one another, viewers experience a front-row seat of a different reality and narrative of them at play, discovering themselves, being vulnerable and healing in the process. This intentional approach of visualizing that “When Black and Brown youth play, they heal” stems from Miller’s own research and work as an educator at the Deep Center. Today, few, if any, animated queer coming-of-age stories exist for Black men. Pritty aims to fill this gap and expand a necessary conversation around what it means to be a Black boy coming-of-age in America.
“Putting this together in the middle of a pandemic – there were so many reasons to give up, but we are a team of dreamers and talented, queer POC artists who just don’t know when to stop,” said Pritty: The Animation Director Terrance Daye. “We believe that the Black kids we create this art for are worth the big asks, time, and money that it takes to put a production like this together. That is why we could not stop making this film and that is why we had to keep dreaming.”
The animation direction brings Miller’s childhood depiction of Savannah to life through the use of lush, romantic landscapes, textured ambient sounds and distinctly Black character designs to create a sense of immersive realism through traditional 2D animation. The production team is partnering with Powerhouse Animation Studios in Texas for Animation Production. As part of Kickstarter’s Long Story Short campaign, the team will spend the rest of March crowdsourcing enough funds to reach their next stretch goal of $125,000 with hopes of eventually reaching the 1.6M budget to produce the full 20-minute animated film in their desired artistic style.
“Our stories, our culture, our communities, our hoods deserve to occupy the center, and this animation is a reminder of that,” said Executive Producer Keith Miller. “Savannah has always been a place of dreaming for me, a way to imagine what’s possible beyond the trauma I and many other youth of color have experienced every day, which is why Pritty: The Animation must exist. We need everyone’s help to ensure we reach our goal to complete the animated short film. And as history asks us how we will respond in this moment, how we will create our own legacy, no donation is too small. All funds will go toward the wonderful village it’s going to take to bring this story to life and show that Savannah, the state of Georgia, and the Deep South is capable of so much more than people think. Whether queer or not, a person of color or not, we all need this so we can heal, together.”
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