Chicago is going through a film and TV renaissance of sorts, with mainstream movies and shows filming more often all around the city, from the Loop to Pilsen. While this is cool, these more cookie cutter works are rarely made by locals, nor do they get to the heart of the city life in all its diversity and complexity. This is why upcoming show, Brown Girls, is so exciting. The synopsis:
Brown Girls is a series putting the stories of two young women of color front and center. Leila is a South Asian-American writer just now owning her queerness. Patricia is a sex-positive Black-American musician who is struggling to commit to anything: job, art and relationships etc. While the two women come from different backgrounds, their friendship is ultimately what they lean on to get through the messiness of their mid-twenties.
Brown girls are front and center, not only in the show’s characters, but also in the creation of the show. Starring Nabila Hossain and up-and-coming comedian Sonia Denis, Brown Girls is written by nationally touring and published poet Fatimah Asghar (who once held a chapbook release party at our old haunt, Cultura in Pilsen) and directed/produced by Sam Bailey. Adding to the musical and visual aesthetics of the show are also original music by Jamila Woods and artist work by Ashni Dave, Daryn Alexus and Drea Smith. Brown Girls, set to premiere in February 2017, will be presented by Open TV, an indie digital distribution hub for female-identified filmmakers, queer creators and artists of color. This same platform also distributed another show created by Bailey, called You’re So Talented, which is about a Chicago millennial and out-of-work artist.
Brown Girls is a collaboration of several artists and creative minds, who, like the title suggests, are intentional about centering the voices and lives of brown womxn, which are too often ignored or misrepresented in mainstream media. The show is a work of love and community support, put together delicately and independently by its creators and supported by crowdfunding in their networks. Judging from the trailer, which premiered today, Brown Girls looks like it will be a beautifully shot, true to heart show where brown Chicago girls like me will see themselves reflected in all our strength and beauty.