Congratulations to Ivana Hucíková, Sarah Keeling, Grace Remington, and Cassandra Bromfield for winning the Best Documentary Short Award 2018 of the Reel Sisters Film Festival. Ivana, Sarah, and Grace are all CoLAB alums and produced this film during their time at UnionDocs.
Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in the largest affordable housing cooperative in Brooklyn, Cassandra Bromfield’s world was artfully framed by her mother’s Super-8 camera. A schoolteacher with many creative talents, Cassandra’s mom documented the exuberance of her neighborhood’s public spaces, showcasing the lively pool, the packed playground, and the graffitied handball court. Children and teenagers gleefully performed in front of her Bolex.
Passion to create was passed from mother to daughter, as was the lease on the affordable apartment. Cassandra still lives in the same place, working as a fashion designer during the day, sewing her clients’ visions, and as a filmmaker at night, assembling documents of her own life and environment with footage shot by her mother. When Cassandra posts her edits online, she notes the lack of comparable footage from the time of other black families, much less footage shot by black women. She believes that her mother’s intent behind the camera was to show that the lives of the people around her, people who might otherwise be forgotten, mattered.
By exploring this rich, overlooked archive alongside Cassandra’s candid narration, Into My Life pays a moving tribute to the work of this mother-daughter duo, the community present in their neighborhood, and the power in creative self-representation. This project is a part of Just to Get By, a UnionDocs Collaborative Studio Production.
Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series, founded by African Voices magazine and Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, is the first Brooklyn-based festival devoted to supporting films produced, directed and written by women of color. Since 1997, the festival has been enriching the city with over 500 films by women of African, Caribbean, Latino, Asian, Indian and Native American descent. Reel Sisters attracts more than 800 film lovers from across the nation and globe including California, Chicago, Florida to as far away as Britain. The festival screens 25 films each year. Reel Sisters also provides scholarships to emerging women filmmakers and offers other resources for women filmmakers.