Cast: Doris Stith, Shaka Jackson, William Joyner
Edgecombe County is a predominantly Black agricultural community in the eastern region of North Carolina. Like many communities in the historic South there are remnants of chattel slavery and monuments to civil rights struggles. It is on this stage that EDGECOMBE presents a small opening into the lives of Ms. Doris Stith, Deacon Joyner and Shaka Jackson.
Crafted as a character exploration, EDGECOMBE highlights the exhaustion of overcoming individual circumstances while navigating systemic experiences. Their collective stories create a mosaic that details the soul and spirit of their shared space. This backdrop sets the tone for the nuanced ways Shaka Jackson, Doris Stith and Deacon Joyner choose to navigate home.
Through a small window of time and space, the film presents the numerous ways Black folks overcome across generations. By revealing this timeline the film exhumes a long lineage of survival.
Crystal Kayiza grew-up in Oklahoma and is now a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker and 2018 Sundance Ignite Fellow. Her work focuses on pursuing more nuanced and diverse storytelling about Black communities. She is a recipient of the 2017 Jacob Burns Film Center Woman Filmmaker Fellowship. As a Woman Filmmaker Fellow she directed and produced, Edgecombe, a short documentary examining the ways trauma repeats and reinvents itself in a rural Black community in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. After graduating from Ithaca College in 2015 with a degree in Documentary Studies and Production, Crystal spent two years at the ACLU working on racial justice and criminal justice issues. Her documentary work and writing has been featured in The Nation, Scalawag Magazine and OkayAfrica. She received a Heartland Emmy Award in 2012 for her film All That Remains, which profiles Boley, Oklahoma, one of the nation’s last all-Black towns.
The MATINEE ONE screening at the Nitehawk Shorts Festival features eight films that explore the encouragement of imagination, pursued ambition, and the struggles in life that are both personal and culture.