Obsessions, Compulsions and Fear: Short Film, Contamination, Official Selection into Reel Sisters Film Festival

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Source: Oglesby Communications Consulting

“We’re proud to accept 'Contamination' into our showcase of films this year," said Carolyn A. Butts, Reel Sisters Festival Director/Founder. "The film gives a powerful portrayal of a young woman’s struggle with mental illness."

Short film, Contamination, has been accepted into the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series for its outstanding portrayal on the impact mental illness has on a woman’s life. The festival is "devoted to supporting films produced, directed and written by women of color."

“We’re proud to accept Contamination into our showcase of films this year," said Carolyn A. Butts, Reel Sisters Festival Director/Founder. "The film gives a powerful portrayal of a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and how it affects her family and friends. We hope Contamination will stimulate conversation on an important issue that rarely gets addressed in our community.”

Click here to watch a teaser for Contamination.

R. Shanea Williams directed the short film. She said she wanted to give a voice to people we do not often see struggling with OCD. "I had an idea about this character for a long time, a woman who was struggling with severe germaphobia which resulted in her having OCD. If people are going to learn something from this film, it is that mental health issues are universal and affect people of all races, ages and backgrounds."

Actress Cherise Boothe plays the lead actress, Jade. The Obie Award winner, who was featured in the film 42 and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined, explained why she felt compelled to participate in the project. "Jade's life circumstances have her battling with a condition by which she feels completely overwhelmed and controlled. Her condition was one I knew little about and wondered how someone gets to the place where we find her in the film," said Boothe. "The journey of getting inside Jade's character, experiencing the world from her perspective, was an intriguing, challenging and daunting endeavor, three great draws for any artist."

Contamination started generating buzz in November 2013 after it was featured on the film enthusiasts' blog Shadow and Act. It's the first film from Vision 75/80 Productions.

Reel Sisters Film Festival and Lecture Series will take place October 25-26, 2014 at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. The festival not only showcases films, but also hosts panels and workshops. Since its founding in 1997, the festival has featured more than 400 films by women of African, Caribbean, Latino, Asian, Indian and Native American descent. It showcases 20 to 25 films each year.


About the director:
R. Shanea Williams is a native of Richmond, Virginia and currently lives in Queens, New York. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2003 with a BA in English and received her MFA in dramatic writing (with a concentration in screenwriting) from New York University in 2008, the same year she and producer Anthony J. Davis founded Vision 75/80 Productions. Williams was a quarterfinalist in the 2007 Slamdance Screenwriting Competition, and in 2011, she was a top 5 screenplay finalist in the Urbanworld Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. Contamination is her second short film.

About the producer:
Anthony J. Davis is a veteran in the film industry. The New York native has worked on several film productions, including the Academy Award nominated film Lincoln, Prisoners and Identity Thief. He co-founded Vision 75/80 in 2008 with director R. Shanea Williams. Contamination is the production company's first film.

About the film festival:
Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series, a Brooklyn-based film festival founded by African Voices magazine and LIU, Brooklyn, is dedicated to supporting women of color filmmakers. Reel Sisters is supported, in part, by Council Members Laurie Cumbo and Jumaane Williams, National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works, New York State Council on the Arts and Brooklyn Arts Council.

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J.B. Davis
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