BBC funded Short Film
After the death of her Grandmother, a young Black woman embarks on a journey of self-discovery and forgiveness, to find something she never had, her mother.
When Nia’s Grandmother suddenly passes away, Nia is plagued by conflicting thoughts surrounding her identity and ideas that she doesn’t truly know who she is, but that she no longer belongs in her hometown. Nia’s mother (of mixed descent) left Nia with her Grandmother when she was a child. Ever since then, Nia’s Grandmother had been raising her in a white countryside town. Now that her Grandmother is dead, Nia can’t help but feel alone in the world, and thoughts of her mother, and what could become of their relationship if rekindled reside in her mind. At her Grandmother’s wake, Nia is stunned when a stranger, paying their respects, leaves an old photograph of her mother and Grandmother pinned on a posterboard. It is this photograph that changes everything, when Nia is able to piece together clues within the photograph that could lead Nia to her mother. With nothing now holding her back, Nia decides to flee her hometown in hope of reuniting with her mother.
Cast and Crew
Nia: Priscilla Fagbemi
Director of Photography: Jasper Enujuba
Editor: Robin Whalley
Composer: Athena Varosio
Line Producer: Ajuan Isaac-George
Costume Designer: Roslyne McQuillan
Production Designer: Angelica Sacrepaye
Production Manager: Darta Vijgrieze
1st AD: Laura Roe
Script Supervisor: Joseph Willis
3rd AD: Noemí Rodríguez
Hair & Make-up Designer: Cleo Young
Make-up Assistant: Viviane Bartlett
Assistant Set Decorator : Maria Marsh
Costume Assistant: Olive Clark
Costume Assistant: Alisa Tsyplakova
Production Assistant: Veronika Slowinska
Train Location Manager: Adrian Booth
Runner: Cassie Smyth
Colour Grader: Matthias Stoopman
Sound Designers: Liam Sharpe / Joseph Russell
1st AC: Falco Caldeira
2nd AC: Samuel Burton-Harris
Gaffer: Breandan McBennett
Spark: Misha Omelchuk
Sound Recordist: Reuben Vick
Van Driver: Barry Lack
Still Photographer: Eugenio Falcioni
Graphic Designer: Marco Minzoni / Alessandro Laganà
DIT: Jonathan Tan
Stills From the Film
"NIA is inspired by a true story, a story very close to my heart. The narrative is based on my Black British niece, whose mother (mixed race) left and moved to the US when she was 4 years old. My mother (white british) has been her legal guardian, and has raised her since her mother left.
I started writing this film because I wanted to voice the complexities/contradictions of being Black and growing up in a white environment, but also the profound connection we share as a human race with our identity. In my niece’s experience, I began to notice her suffering with the same challenges and internal conflicts regarding appearance, identity, and her Blackness, that I found myself facing – as a mixed race woman, who was also raised in the same white countryside town. There is an endless battle that takes place of confusion, surrounding self-acceptance, accompanied with plaguing feelings that you do not belong.
NIA is an important story as it portrays an under-represented voice of a young Black woman, called Nia. The aim is to capture the internal struggle, Nia, – and so many other Black Brits face regarding identity, in a way that felt authentic and humanising."
self-discovery family identity
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