Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland is set to make it’s world debut at Tribeca Film Festival.

Sandra Bland was pulled over and arrested for failing to signal a lane change in Waller County, Texas, in 2015. Three days later, she was dead, having apparently committed suicide while in police custody. But, as the case took on nationwide notoriety and sparked street protests, family and friends were left with nothing but questions: What, after all, took a bright, energetic Black Lives Matter activist from the promise of a new job to a mysterious jail cell death in just three days?

Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner accompanied Bland’s family on their search for answers during the two years following her death. The result is a vigorous, unflinching case study in racial justice that also weaves in Bland’s own voice through her empowering online video series, “Sandy Speaks.” The character who emerges, beyond the flashpoint case, is a woman who dedicated her life to seeking out justice, and whose story and voice remain essential in the ongoing climate of racial injustice.

The #SayHerName movement has certainly shined an important light on the deaths of black women as result of police encounters, but systemic issues regarding black women and police brutality remain.  The names (and lives) of only a handful of black women including Sandra Bland and Rekia Boyd have gained national attention but, for the most part, the deaths of black women as a result of police encounters gain less media attention than those of men. We’re having conversations about racism; however, we’re not talking nearly enough about how misogyny and sometimes sexual abuse play into the racism that black women experience on a daily basis and in interactions with the police.

Black women are still too often the invisible victims of the cultural epidemic that is police brutality. The list of black women who have died during encounters with the police in the last decade is painfully long. Spanning 2003 to the present, their names include Tanisha Anderson, Yvette Smith, Miriam Carey, Shelly Frey, Darnisha Harris, Malissa Williams, Shantel Davis, Rekia Boyd, Shereese Francis, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tarika Wilson, Alberta Spruilli and Kendra James to name a few.

Saying our names is just the beginning. Remembering us, as we remember Sandra Bland, is vital.

The Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 18-29 in New York City. Festival-goers can find more information at www.tribecafilm.com/festival.

Make sure you check out this powerful film if you will be attending the festival!

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