Award-winning Series Premiere: 195 Lewis
Series follows a black lesbian couple as they strive to practice radical honesty in their newly polyamorous relationship.
Made by a team of predominantly Black queer women artists in the context of 21st century America, the work is inescapably political. 195 Lewis captures the intimate spaces of New York’s queerest borough. According to Director Chanelle Aponte Pearson, “Brooklyn is a queer mecca.” Show Creator Rae Leone Allen feels most at home in Bed-Stuy and believes 195 Lewis reflects the reality of these spaces for people who may feel out of place because of their sexuality or gender expression all over the world—particularly in the middle of the country in these tumultuous times. “Thinking about my younger self, coming up in Mesquite, I know that there are young people all over the world that can really identify with this and understand—wherever they are—that there are people like them, there are places for them to go.”
The greatest ambition of the series is to bring the audience into the safe space that these Black queer women have carved for themselves. “Chanelle always talks about how beautiful Brooklyn is, how beautiful our community is and how important it was to pull people into that world. She wants you to feel like you're at the party,” says Allen.
She continues: "[We] are very interested in intimacy and the ways that black women do that... I watch a lot of media, I don’t think there is enough images of Black women loving on each other and supporting one another the way that I know that we do.”
Set in the heart of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, among a singular group of close-knit young black lesbian friends, the series follows Yuri and Camille as Yuri’s growing infatuation with a new lover uptown leaves Camille uncertain about her role in Yuri’s life. Tensions rise when Kris, Yuri’s friend from college, unexpectedly pops up on the stoop in need of a place to stay.
Written, directed and produced by a team of self-identified black, queer women, 195 Lewis highlights the intricacies of the lives these women create for themselves and offers a glimpse into a world often unseen and overlooked. It reflects a generation’s endeavor to define romantic love and intimacy outside of pervasive patriarchal ideologies. From navigating ethical non-monogamy to centering artmaking as a profession both profitable and impactful, the show explores radical honesty, self-reflection, and love in all its forms. Through smart dialogue, cutting humor, and brutal truths, 195 Lewis shifts conventional notions of what it means to be black, queer, and polyamorous.
Stars: Rae Leone Allen, Trae Harris (Newlyweeds, Orange is the New Black), D. Ajane Carlton, Sirita Wright, Roxie Johnson, and Taja Lindley
Written by: Rae Leone Allen, Yaani Supreme, Chanelle Aponte Pearson, and Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty)
*International Film Festival-Rotterdam 2016 – Official Selection*
*Insideout Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival 2017 – Official Selection*
*Scottish Queer International Film Festival 2017 – Official Selection*
*Winner: 2017 BlackStar Film Festival US Narrative Audience Award*
*Encore Presentation: 2017 Frameline: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival*
*Special Mention 2017 OutFest: Los Angeles for “highlighting the contemporary life of queer black woman with flair, vibrancy and substance.”*
The series launch will be preceded by a screening event in Brooklyn, New York:
Thursday, November 9th, 7PM
The Brooklyn Museum
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium
Preceded by a performance by rapper Nappy Nina and a screening of Elegance Bratton's Short Film Walk for Me
Screening info here.
Followed by Q & A with Series Creator Rae Leone Allen, Director Chanelle Aponte Pearson, Actress D. Ajane Carlton and Music Supervisor Ryann Holmes
Chanelle Aponte Pearson , Writer/Director: Aponte Pearson is a Bronx-bred, Brooklyn-based visual artist and filmmaker. In 2015, Chanelle was awarded the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Directors “Live the Dream” grant for the narrative series 195 Lewis, her directorial debut, prompting Paste Magazine to name Chanelle one of “10 Black Directors to Watch in 2016.” She is the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Producer at MVMT.
Rae Leone Allen, Creator/Writer/Producer/Actress: Allen is a writer, filmmaker, and scholar from Mesquite, TX. She owes money to the feds for the master’s in urban studies she got from Fordham University. Her poetry has been published in No, Dear Magazine, about place Journal, Puerto del Sol: Black Voices Series, and Brooklyn Magazine.
Yaani Supreme, Creator/Writer/Producer: Yaani Supreme fka Jade Foster is the founder of salon-styled poetry tour, THE REVIVAL which has connected over 2,000 queer women across the U.S. and abroad. Frustrated with the lack of outlets for poets who were either totally academic or solely "spoken word," THE REVIVAL tribe engages audiences on a new literary stage. The Brooklyn-based creative catalyst aims to redefine the American Literary Arts, and continues to present creative innovations through her writings and productions. In 2015, she was named one of Go Magazine’s 100 Women We Love.
Terence Nance, Writer/Producer: Terence Nance is a performance artist, filmmaker, musician, photographer, faculty member of the MFA in Film program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow. His first feature film AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and went on to play at over 50 film festivals worldwide. The film’s critical success prompted the New York Times to name Terence one of their “20 Directors to Watch” while Filmmaker Magazine named him one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” His most recent films SWIMMING IN YOUR SKIN AGAIN and UNIVITELLIN premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and the International Film Festival at Rotterdam, respectively.
Jomo Fray, Director of Photography: Fray’s cinematographic work has been featured on CNN, CBS, and in The New York Times. By utilizing a strong background in cinematography, philosophy, and photography he aims to create innovative and evocative visual stories. He attended Brown University for his undergraduate education and is currently an MFA candidate at the Tisch School of the Arts.
About MVMT: MVMT is a production company that creates feature films, commercials, music videos, and avant-garde mixed media both in-house and in collaboration with creative partners. MVMT’s first feature film, AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY, premiered at The Sundance Film Festival and has been internationally distributed theatrically and broadcast on cable TV and most streaming outlets. Their recent short film YOU AND I AND YOU was featured in the Washington Post, The New Yorker, and Fader.com.