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Windhoek Premiere: "Souls of Black Girls" by Daphne S. Valerius on 27.11.2010 at Studio 77

On Saturday, 27 November 2010 at 19h and in the framework of the filmseries “African Perspectives”, AfricAvenir Windhoek presents the Namibian premiere of the movie “Souls of Black Girls", written, edited and produced by Daphne S. Valerius. "Souls of Black Girls" is a provocative news documentary that takes a critical look at media images, and how they are instituted, established, and controlled. Venue: Studio 77. Entrance: 20,- N$.

In cooperation with Studio 77, Bank Windhoek Arts Festival, the FNCC, Pro Helvetia Cape Town, WhatsOnWindhoek, & Hendrik Ehlers Consulting,

Date: 27. November 2010
Time: 19h00
Venue: Studio 77, Old Breweries Complex, entrance via Garten Str.
Entrance: 20,- N$

About the film
“Too often our girls do not rise to their full potential because they are so affected by the image that others project of them... This film was the answer to a prayer.” - Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, president of National Council of N... Women 1957-1997, leader of the African American and Women Rights movement, grande dame of the Civil Rights Era, USA.
 
“An overdue debate about who gets to define what is beautiful” - Kam Williams, Film Review

“The Souls of Black Girls”, named after W.E.B. DuBois famous book “The Souls of Black Folks”, is a provocative news documentary that takes a critical look at media images, and how they are instituted, established, and controlled. The documentary examines the relationship between the historical and existing media images of women of color and suggests that African-American females are suffering from a self-image disorder as a result of trying to attain the standards of beauty that are celebrated in media images.

The documentary features candid interviews with young African-American women discussing their self-image and social commentary from actresses Regina King and Jada Pinkett Smith, PBS Washington Week Moderator Gwen Ifill, Cultural Critic Michaela Angela Davis, and Darlise Blount, 106 & Park producer at BET, Black Entertainment Television, African American history scholar Dr. Edmonds, and “Public Enemy” rapper and political activist Chuck D.

The “Souls of Black Girls” is a piece that attempts to provoke honest dialogue and critical thinking among women of color about media images and our present condition—internally and externally.

Awards/Festivals

  • Winner – Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival
  • Winner – Urban Mediamakers Film Festival
  • Official Selection Pan African Film Festival
  • Official Selection Roxbury Film Festival
  • Official Selection Reel Sisters Film Festival
  • Official Selection H20 International Film Festival
  • Official Selection Harlem Film Festival

About Daphne S. Valerius – Producer, Reporter, TV Host, Actress
Meet Daphne Valerius, one to watch as the era of women of color redefining the landscape of media images –in front and behind the camera—begins to unfold.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Valerius had dreams of becoming a Flyy Girl on FOX’s In Living Color or a back-up dancer for singer Janet Jackson. But the relocation of her family to the state of Rhode Island unknowingly placed her on a path towards embarking on a journey to define her own destiny. The daughter of Haitian immigrants and the eldest of three children, graduated from Cranston High School East knowing that pursuing an education at any cost was the only way to redefine life as she knew it for herself and future generations of her family.

The recipient of several academic scholarships, Valerius went onto St. John’s University in New York majoring in Mass Communications and marked the beginning of her production career, as the Director and Co-Producer of a play entitled, The Revolution Continues: Changing Times Call for Changing Minds during her sophomore year. Graduating Magna Cum Laude and a Ronald McNair Scholar, under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Lez Edmond, Valerius studied media images in a research project entitled, Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence: The Effects of Mass Media on Women of Color…Forgotten. This research marked the beginning of Valerius’ critical examination of her personal self-image issues and how they had been influenced by society, specifically media images. Upon graduation she immediately enrolled into the Broadcast Journalism Graduate Program at Emerson College.

Never losing sight of her aspirations to “perform” in front of the camera, Valerius completed acting work in independent film projects such as The Plague, Daddy’s Girl and more recently, Kwanzaa with the Jones’s. It was also during this foray into acting that Valerius was awarded an Associated Press Award for Public Affairs for the production of a news program entitled, The Film Life, a television show that took a look at the entertainment industry in and around Boston, MA.

This also marked a time when Valerius’ critical and socially relevant undergraduate research came to life as the foundation of her award-winning final Master’s project, the documentary The Souls of Black Girls. For Valerius the production of The Souls of Black Girls, which she also wrote, edited and produced, marks the beginning for “my sisters, my aunts, my nieces, my cousins and my daughters who stand beside me to have a better understanding of why and how media images affect our self-image and self-esteem.”

Talented, passionate and committed Valerius aspires to influence, inspire and uplift women of color through positive, educational and healing television and film projects—in front and behind the camera. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Valerius remains active within her community, travels throughout the country to promote the message of self-love and self-acceptance depicted in The Souls of Black Girls while focusing on her upcoming production projects.

“I will always remember Halle Berry’s acceptance speech for her Academy Award, ‘it's for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance.’ that was my inspiration.”

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