Written by | Ray Cornelius
When Nefertite Nguvu set out to make her film, “In The Morning,” she had one goal in mind and that was to put fresh, new images of African-American women on the big screen. And while it has taken her five years to get the worldwide distribution she desired, her satisfaction comes from knowing that she is now part of a new wave of Black women filmmakers who are taking ownership and telling stories their way.
“In The Morning” puts a spotlight on love and its inevitable change/decline. It charts the emotional anatomy of the lives, loves, infidelities, and enduring friendships of a group of inter-connected New Yorkers over the course of one day. It features the amazing talents of one of my favorite new actress Emayatzy Corinealdi as well as Jacky Ido, Numa Perrier, Kim Hill, De’adre Aziza, Hoji Fortuna, JoNell Kennedy and newcomers Alzo Slade and CJ Lindsey. The film was photographed by award winning cinematographer Arthur Jafa (‘Daughters Of The Dust,’ ‘Crooklyn’) and color timed by Malik Sayeed (“Belly”).
I got a chance to catch the film Sunday afternoon at Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue Research Library. It was being presented by the BronzeLens Film Festival and is part of a nationwide screening tour that will also take place in New York, Philly, LA, Chicago and New Jersey. The film was followed up by a lively discussion between Nguvu and acclaimed casting directors—George Pierre and Rhavynn Drummer.
“In The Morning really is my love letter to Black women,” said Nguvu to RC after the screening. “I wanted to create a film that really spoke to the women that I know who rarely get to see themselves in film. The incredibly intelligent, beautiful, stylish, complex women who don’t get films made about them. Toni Morrison once said that the reason she started writing is because the books she wanted to read didn’t exist, so I feel that way about making In The Morning. I’ve been wanting to see this film and that’s why I made it.”
Nguvu also shared with me that she is working fast and furiously on another project titled, “Myself When I am Real” that features “In the Morning” actors Jonell Kennedy and Jacky Ido. She is also making another short film for AT&T’s Hello Lab later on this year and has a few documentaries out now that were made for Common‘s current album, Black America Again.
“I hope to continue to make small stories like this about our lives,” said Nguvu. “I feel like my space and what makes me unique is being able to tell these intimate stories.”
Check out the trailer below and click here for screenings of the film in your area:
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com and InTheMorning-TheFilm.com