30th Annual Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves Virtual Film Festival

Greetings film lovers! BHERC is excited to celebrate 30 Years of Sistas Are Doin’ It for Themselves. This year we are proud to present phenomenal films by emerging Black women directors. Please use the buttons on this page to purchase access to the Virtual Film Festival.  We look forward to you screening the films.


Virtual Film Festival: Please use this “Buy Or Redeem Ticket” button below to purchase access to the Virtual Film Festival. Access for the Virtual Film Festival begins Monday, May 22- Wednesday, May 31, 2023 (24 Hours A Day).

Virtual Film Festival Access Monday, May 22- Wednesday, May 31 (24 Hours A Day)


2023 Sistas Sizzle Reel- Part I


2023 Sistas Sizzle Reel- Part II


A Beautiful Mess

The film explores the concept of “the curse of creativity” or rather the spectrum of creativity through the lens of multiple creatives, focusing on their state of minds as they maneuver the different phases of creativity. The creation of art is a beautiful thing and final products of creativity are glamourized with no light is shone on the “trust the process“ stages of creation. This film explores both sides of the spectrum of creativity, the curse, the mess, the beauty and fulfilment it comes with.

DirectorMmatshepo Rakhalakane
WriterMmatshepo Rakhalakane
ProducerMmatshepo Rakhalakane
Starring Mahlatse Tlaka, Nhlanhla Lubisi, Kgomotso Motsiane, Omolemo Gaesale


Birdhouse is about a young girl at war with herself to determine if she should stay in the nest, riddled with bones and bits of her broken shell, or if she should fly.

DirectorLee Shaw
WriterLee Shaw
ProducerMoses Johnson
Starring Gabrielle Moseley, Noah Schnabel, Erin Donovan, Nicole Lawrie


A young woman is torn between two worlds: her day job cleaning planes and her dream of becoming a pilot. When she takes steps to pursue aviation, she is met with resistance, and must fight against the odds to get her wings.

DirectorNicole L. Thompson
WriterNicole L. Thompson
ProducerNicole L. Thompson, Nick Brooks, Jamie Walker
CreatorEmail: [email protected]
OtherSocial Media: Instagram/Twitter/Facebook @filmdreamz
HostWebsite: www.nicolelthompson.com
Starring Alyssa Tibbs, Fredericka Meek, Paulette Blair, Paul Nygro

Blood Bank

A poetry piece that speaks to how women's labor, local resources and bodies are used without permission or compensation for the profit of corporations, governments and criminals featuring fine art by artists Adesina Cooper, Amani Holbert, Deandra Lee, Gale Fulton Ross, Linda Ternoir, Michael Massenburg and Skira Martinez.

DirectorS. Pearl Sharp
WriterS. Pearl Sharp
ProducerS. Pearl Sharp
Starring S. Pearl Sharp

Blue Laces

On a routine bike ride through Long Beach, high school juniors, Chilli, Mia, and Tracey, pass Kiki, a fellow classmate, in distress. In an effort to comfort Kiki, Chilli reveals that she lost her brother at the hands of the police and the two bond over the recent loss of Kiki's brother. Chilli extends an invitation of family and protection through the Crip gang.

DirectorBrit Banks
WriterBrit Banks
ProducerAlicia Marie Agramonte, Fetle Negash, Richard E. Haywood
Executive ProducerBrit Banks
Starring Shan Moreno, Cheyenne Washington, Briana Hamilton, Ria Unique, Stephen Barrington


While recovering from the grief of a miscarriage and a dry, dying farm, Mabel and Abraham are visited by a strange traveler who offers them a chance to wager their true love for each of their deepest desires. The two are suddenly plunged into a slow growing nightmare of their own creation, eventually finding themselves pitted against one another and forced to face the visceral consequences of the question: how far will one go to get what they desire?

DirectorDestinee McCaster
WriterVincent J. Walker
ProducerGabby Fiszman, Maria Paula Quesada
Starring David Hunter, Jr., Shola Fagbamila, Albert Linton

Canna Sistaz

Potheads and half-sisters, Fola and Francy can’t make it in LA as actresses, thus when faced with an eviction, they become ‘florists’ and grow a strain that changes the racial divide.

DirectorJoy Shannon
WriterJoy Shannon
ProducerJoy Shannon


Hilarity ensues when three couples with their own assortment of problems, volunteer for a cloning experiment, only for their multiple clones to rebel and threaten a hostile takeover as the couples soon discover the trial was all a front for an organ-harvesting operation!

DirectorLetia Solomon
WriterNate Walker
ProducerLetia Solomon, Nate Walker, Carly Rogers
Executive ProducerDoug Jordan, Nate Walker, Letia Solomon, Brandon Blackshear
Starring Nate Walker, Charrell Mack, Ryan Rohtla


Black rookie officer Maria Hill is excited to walk in her father's footsteps on her first shift as a police officer. On the shift with her new partner, a suspicious activity call comes in and they notice a young man in a hoodie wandering ahead of them. Hill must decide whether to intervene and treat him as an innocent teen or a likely suspect, forcing her to examine her loyalty to her community and her badge.

DirectorCarly Rogers
WriterCarly Rogers
ProducerJosie Andrew, Aida Gevorgyan

Discovering Brooklynn

An unexpected reencounter drastically alters Brooklynn's perfect world, pushing her closeted sexuality to the forefront.

DirectorAliya Brooks
WriterAliya Brooks
ProducerLiz Holland/Chelsea Fenton, Aliya Brooks, Raymond Brooks, Marvin Brooks


19-year-old Tracey is living a charmed life; great adoptive-parents, college life and childhood bestie. On the eve of her 20th Birthday, she suddenly gets ill and undergoes a transformation, changing into an outer-worldly being. Her life makes a 180-degree flip, to which she slowly adapts.

DirectorErica Meus-Saunders
WriterErica Meus-Saunders
ProducerEmma Boardman
Starring Micha Cromwell, Maya Cusson-Delphin, Baheran Zewde, MJ Miller

Forks in the Road

A young black couple in the South are on a date night at a local restaurant. Through conversation, they realize that their summer love is coming to a close. Solutions and uncertainty are in the air throughout the entire night. Compromise is a big question. Is their love enough?

DirectorRyan G Cameron
WriterRyan G Cameron
ProducerLauryn McCollum, Gary Pierrot
Starring Jaylan Rose, Oreoluwa Adebo, Martrel Frazier


A sci-fi examination of relationships in a technological world where a woman attempts to immortalize her dying grandfather using virtual reality technology, but her obsession with documenting drives a wedge between them.

DirectorJahmil Eady
WriterJahmil Eady
ProducerSelena Leoni
Starring Haskell Vaughn Anderson III, Maxine Goynes, Mia Mollicone, Donald Didion

I Am Light

A cinematic short film that aims to create an emotional connection with viewers and shed light on the experiences of Black people in the UK. Belinda was born and raised in London as the first generation born in the UK to parents from Barbados and Jamaica. Inspired by her personal experiences and her reflections on the George Floyd murder, the film uses vignettes to showcase the joys and pains of life as a Black person in the UK.

DirectorJulia Schönstädt
WriterBelinda Fenty
ProducerBelinda Fenty, Julia Schönstädt, Pauline Nakirya

If I Pray

Life hasn’t always been fair to Chrisette, a single mom who’s only want in life is to be loved. But when love walks away, bad choices in life send her world spiraling downward, her daughter and friends fight to save her before it’s too late.

DirectorShonda J. Stephens
WriterShonda J. Stephens
ProducerShonda J. Stephens
Starring Shonda J. Stephens, Maxine Renee Kelley, Adelia Green, Amanda M. N. Buford, Eric W. Randall 1, Roberta Parker

In the Stillness

Two creative entrepreneurs struggle to maintain their passion and identities while growing their careers. The blossoming romance turns volatile when the pair is thrust into the spotlight suddenly and the pressure triggers unresolved wounds from the past.

DirectorNaira Adedeji
WriterNaira Adedeji
ProducerStephanie She Ifendu, Gladys Edeh, Sherifat Mohammed


After her grandma passes away, Kayla is catapulted back to her childhood memories of her grandma only to discover that her memories are different. Grandma keeps disappearing and Kayla is unable to find her. Through her journey with grief, Kayla sets out to search for Grandma and to find peace after this devastating loss.

DirectorKayla E Skipper
WriterKayla E Skipper
ProducerGabriel Acosta
Starring Sandra Jones, Starmya Howard, Aaliyah Dives

Inside Of Me

Judean Montgomery never thought that an unexpected conversation with her only son would help her to realize she suffered from depression. After years of mental abuse from the people she depended on the most, Judean accepted disappointments and feeling unloved as a norm. What will it take to finally get the happiness she deserves back into her life?

DirectorStephanie Greene
WriterWendy Shipman
Executive ProducerWendy Shipman, Russell Shipman, Sr.
Starring Robin Inez Fletcher, Keith Jason, Logan Williams, Dawn Simmon

Just Us

After being visited by a spirit from his past, a Mississippi judge is forced to deal with the memories that have haunted him of life he took, but never paid the price for.

DirectorAlycia L. Cooper:
WriterAlycia L. Cooper:
ProducerAlycia L. Cooper:
Starring Herb Mendelsohn, Sam T. West, Keely Thompson, III


Four people are faced with the question of whether "love at first sight" is real, or only exists in a dream.

DirectorRainelle Saunders
WriterRainelle Saunders
ProducerRainelle Saunders, Almayvonne Dixon, SK Dayne
Starring Dawn Raven, Rayan Lawrence, Jean Charles, Cedrice

Light Heart

When a young girl discovers the heart of the world it's up to her and her baby sister to it from a dark force.

DirectorAssata Jackson
WriterAssata Jackson
ProducerMegan Sousa, Nicole L. Thompson, Juliette Beneich
Co-producerZoë Alyce Salnave
Associate ProducerTiffany Spriggs

Moose Tracks

A father struggles to cope with his wife's death while caring for his 12-year-old daughter and newborn baby.

DirectorAyanna McKnight
WriterMcKenzi Vanderberg
ProducerJoon Cho, Chelsea Patricia Ramirez
Executive ProducerC. Craig Patterson, Ayanna McKnight
Starring Landon Moss, Zaria Kelley, Nada Sarai Burkhalter, Scott Bender, Deidra Acquah

No Ordinary Woman

Black women face unique challenges and are often expected to be strong, selfless caretakers while also enduring discrimination and dehumanization due to the color of their skin. The short reflects on the importance of unlearning harmful beliefs and embracing self-love and self-care, even in the face of societal pressures.

DirectorNykieria Chaney
WriterNykieria Chaney
ProducerNykieria Chaney
Starring Michelle Lamb


Hard-of-hearing Cleo lives in a beautiful home on a peaceful, secluded plot where her husband, Duncan, has provided her with safety because she has troubles trusting her own mind. But what happens when she accidentally encounters disturbing information about her seemingly perfect husband? Feeling unsafe in both her home and her mind, she finds that every step she takes pushes her further into questioning her own reality.

DirectorMmatshepo Rakhalakane
WriterLai Reineth Mokoena
ProducerAyanda Mlangeni
Starring Mosie Mamaregane, Sandile Mondlane

Pas De Deux

After his romantic dance partner's life is cut short, ballet dancer, Quentin Jones struggles to perform the dance of a lifetime with someone new.

DirectorKaitlyn Kelly
WriterKaitlyn Kelly
ProducerRobert Burns
Starring Akeem J. Edwards, Natelí Ruiz, Gerard Shaka, Joseph Lawrence, Sami Riou, Taylor West

Protest Embodied

A meditation on the implications of the black feminine form.

DirectorJael Campbell
WriterJael Campbell
ProducerJael Campbell

Quarantine Chronicles

A documentary showing how the pandemic affected people of color in Los Angeles and how they navigated to keep themselves inspired and productive.

DirectorDenise Khumalo
WriterDenise Khumalo
ProducerDenise Khumalo


Remedial is a coming-of-age narrative drama that centers around a young British boy who relocates to Houston, TX with his mother after a devastating and unexpected loss. After enrolling in a new school, his new homeroom teacher is forced to make a difficult decision when his behavior becomes increasingly disconcerting.

DirectorLaurie J. Gardiner
WriterLaurie J. Gardiner
ProducerLaurie J. Gardiner, Andrew Reid
Executive ProducerJanet Parker
Starring Kenyon Ebole-Gordon, Chene Lawson, Chris Attoh, Kim Reed

Ro & the Stardust

A free-spirited teen fulfills her terminally ill grandmother’s dying wish of building a rocket ship to launch her into outer space.

DirectorEunice Levis
WriterEunice Levis
ProducerRachel K. Ofori, Elvis Nolasco
Starring Cindy De La Cruz, Nadya Encarnacion, Yolanda Nolasco

Say Nothing

Mrs. Mabele, an undercover voodoo woman, is devastated after losing her son to knife violence. Fed up with the youth crime, and tired of the police delay in apprehending the killers, she places a body switch spell on a jaded White, 34-year-old police officer and a Black 20-year-old from “da blocks”. There is only one way the two can reverse the spell, and return to their respective bodies.

DirectorD'Marie Dowe
WriterD'Marie Dowe
ProducerNathaniel Sang Levy
Starring Daniel Attwell, Reece Harris, Ellen Thomas, Che Walker, Ade Femzo

Sule and The Case of The Tiny Sparks

In a young African girl’s quest to learn the meaning of the proverb -“Great fires erupt from tiny sparks” - she seeks guidance from a lively, 10-year-old proverb detective named Sule. Set in a fictional West African village, Sule and the Case of the Tiny Sparks, inspires audiences with the engaging message that even small actions can yield big results.

DirectorShawnee´ Gibbs, Shawnelle Gibbs
WriterRene Rawls
ProducerRene Rawls
Executive ProducerRene Rawls

The Bond

Fighting for her last connection in a system designed to isolate her, The Bond, follows an incarcerated pregnant woman as she gives birth. She is determined to keep her baby close and turn her life around; however, when Aria goes into labor, she faces her biggest challenge yet. This character-driven short is based on a true story.

DirectorJahmil Eady
WriterJahmil Eady
ProducerSelena Leoni, Reina Highashitani,
Executive ProducerDiana Dimenna, Arlan Hamilton, Arielle Julia Brown
Starring Ashley Wilkerson, Yolonda Ross, Kathryn Erbe, Jonathan Medina

The Clubhouse Killer

A young girl seeking career advice enters the wrong room on a popular app and finds herself chatting with a stranger. Later that night, the stranger begins to stalk her on the app and taunt her with her personal information. This makes her realize he is somewhere close. Strange things begin to happen around the house. She and her sister agree they must find a way to escape before it's too late.

DirectorSasha Sales, Jillian Holt
WriterJillian Holt
ProducerSasha Sales, Jillian Holt, Joyce Allen
Starring Donesha Jones, Jayla Allen, Shatara Jordan, Sam Russell

The Cypher

A young black freestyle rapper in Philadelphia must confront his sexuality when he finally gets the chance to perform on the big stage. No one knows the truth, not even his little sister, who unwittingly sets in motion events that might destroy her brother's chances for success.

DirectorLetia Solomon
WriterWes Akwuobi
ProducerCraig Patterson, Anne Brashier
Executive ProducerBen Cory
Starring Nigel Cox, Kerrice Brooks, Juan Gil, O'Shay Neal, Nelcie Souffrant, Alexander Robinson

The Dragonfly Tale

In 1964 Hereford, Texas a 9-year-old June Bug Brown is determined to take action to save his family. When a dragonfly takes June Bug's worries to Heaven, his destiny is forever changed.

DirectorLorey Hayes
WriterLorey Hayes, Bobby Crear
ProducerPat Battistini, Ed Jones, Lynne Conner & Bobby Crear
Executive ProducerLorey Hayes
Starring Aaron Keith Braxton, Shaw Woodward, Garret Davis, June Bug

The Erasure

For one weekend out of the year, Black women and girls go missing and the rule is that there cannot be any police involvement or media coverage of the missing women. The audience goes on a journey with three Black women that live in a safe haven and shows what happens to them when The Confederate goes beyond their boundaries. This fictional film is inspired by a real statistic, that 64,000 Black women and girls go missing in the United States every year and only a fraction of their cases are investigated.

DirectorAkeallah Blair
WriterAkeallah Blair
ProducerAnna Ogunkunle, Vita Amore, Victor Bouzi, Maggie Savarino, Carolyn Monterio, Rhoda “Nana” Jackson
Starring Paige Noel, Monica Lawson, Donna Dotson, Steven Christopher, Hillary Barraford

The Farmer and the Lightning Storm

Burdened by frustration and fear, the Goddess of Lightning cannot find meaning in what she does and suppresses her abilities. After hearing Lightning's frustration, a nearby farmer helps her regain confidence in her powers by offering a different point of view.

DirectorDanielle Browne
WriterDanielle Browne
ProducerDanielle Browne
Starring Joy Vandervort-Cobb

The Little Girl Inside

Ava, a vengeful and curious girl, searches through hotel rooms, hoping to discover something new within herself. When what’s behind those doors becomes repetitive and underwhelming, she questions her identity and existence—that is, until one night a stranger convinces her to make a life-changing decision.

DirectorAmbyr Michelle
WriterAmbyr Michelle
ProducerAmbyr Michelle
Starring Ambyr Michelle, Nigel Cox, Chase Baker, Daniel Salas

The Pillow

A devoted wife struggles to fulfill her disgruntled dying husband's final wish. She has a strange encounter with a potential stalker and received new information that will change everything she knows about her marriage. This pushes the wife into a rage where she can’t help but "kill two birds with one stone”.

DirectorSherean Jones
WriterSherean Jones
ProducerStella (Tianyu) Shi
Starring Michelle Lambert, Tjader France, Ashlei Shyne, Barbara Ann Bullen

The Three Phases of Isa

Isa and Stephan, who met while Isa was a freshman in college, have been married for twenty years; a marriage riddled with domestic violence. Tonight is their twenty-first anniversary, where another domestic dispute ensues. This time leaving Isa to fight for dear life. She confronts the younger versions of herself attempting to gain the freedom she so desperately seeks.

DirectorAndi Chapman
WriterMildred Marie Langford
ProducerMildred Marie Langford, Conisha Wade, Jessica E. Williams
Starring Mildred Marie Langford, DeJuan Christopher, Conisha Wade

The Wrong One

A philandering doctor gets more than he bargains for when he tries to finesse a beautiful woman at a martini bar.

DirectorAngela M. Gordon
WriterLisa L. Wilson
ProducerAngela M. Gordon, Lisa L. Wilson
Starring Franceli Chapman, Patrick, Ebonie Marie

The Pyramid Club & Studio 1517

What do you do when you learn Marion Anderson once stood in your living room? Black art, history and family converge in a North Philadelphia brownstone. Follow the Hamilton’s on a journey to uncover the past of their historic residence and join the quest for a safe space to house the future.

DirectorIntisar Hamilton
ProducerScribe Video Center


An elderly couple, well past the twilight of their years, but still in love, find it increasingly difficult to take care of each other. They climb into their 1952 coupe’ and take a decisive ride into life on their own terms.

DirectorDianne Houston
WriterDianne Houston
ProducerJoy Ryan, Peter Geiger
Executive ProducerJana Sue Memel, Konda Mason
Starring Vivian Bonnell, Bill Cobbs, Ruby Dee, Erica Gimpel, Vondie Curtis Hall, Cree Summer


A young Jamaican thief commits the unthinkable to survive, crushing his humanity in the process. Winston is a young man left without options by the society he strives to live in. Based on several incidents of murder in the LGBTQIA community in Jamaica, WINSTON unpacks how societal homophobia can affect the psyche and culture of the population.

DirectorTanya E. Taylor
WriterTanya E. Taylor, Karl O’Brian Williams
ProducerTanya E. Taylor, Letitia Guillory

…with salt.

When ambitious college student Natalie’s impromptu date takes an unexpected turn, silence is easier, but at what cost?

DirectorPhyllis Bancroft
ProducerBradford Bancroft, Gus Avila, Kim Bancroft
Executive ProducerSandra J. Evers-Manly
Starring Dominique Denny, Moe Irvrin


Full Festival
Access Pass
Full Access
Gift Ticket
  • 24 Hour Day Pass provides full festival access for 24 hours starting when you play the first film, or until the end of the festival if sooner.
  • 5 Film Access Pass provides access to any 5 films from the festival, during the festival time.
  • Only one type of ticket can be held at a time. Please wait for a 24 Hour Day Pass to expire, or 5 Film Access Pass to be completely used, before purchasing another ticket.