Gabourey Sidibe (Empire) will present her directorial debut, the short film, The Tale of Four at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival + Lecture Series on October 21st.

Inspired by Nina Simone’s “Four Women,” Sidibe’s film follows a day in the life of a quartet of interconnected women. The 20-minute film, revolves around the life of Aunt Sarah, who’s caring for her sister’s children while she’s in jail; Saffronia, who’s pleading with her mother to tell her the truth about her white father; Sweet Thing, who’s searching for love in the wrong places; and Peaches, who’s dealing with the loss of her son to police brutality.

Sidibe’s work is part of Refinery29’s Shatterbox Anthology short film series. The film initiative seeks out young, female voices to step behind the camera and bring a story to life. Sidibe agreed take the director’s chair because she felt a responsibility to not only bring more women of color to the big screen, but also to craft an updated narrative that allows audiences to see the humanity of black women.

“In telling the story of these four women, I’m telling my story,” she says. “I’m talking about my fear. I’m talking about my family. I’m talking about injustice. I don’t know what else is to be done other than to say, ‘I’m human. See my humanity before you see my skin color.’ That’s what I’m trying to do most with this film. This story is important to tell now because it’s not going away. I needed a place to channel [my] anger and fear.”

The film will become available for streaming later this year.

Founded by African Voices magazine in 1997, Reel Sisters Film festival has screened more than 500 films by women of African, Caribbean, Latino, Asian, Indian and Native American descent. It is one of the first festivals to stimulate an international dialogue on improving the status of female directors, producers and screenwriters and has become a major launching pad for women directors to gain international exposure and recognition. The festival not only showcases films, but hosts panels and workshops.

For tickets, showtimes, and addition information on the festival, please visit their site HERE.

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