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Filmmaker spotlight: Interview with DaeQuan Collier


Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get into filmmaking? 

I am a born and raised New Yorker, I grew up in the Bronx and I’ve always wanted to work in the arts. Early on, I was mostly interested in writing and directing theater, but then I realized that my work could have more impact through filmmaking. I am a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and I am currently a second year MFA student at Emerson College. I want to tell stories about the Black experience in new ways that organically illustrate our humanity.

What inspired this story, and why butterflies? 

The idea of “Black Boyhood” is something that I’ve always thought about. I saw so many interactions between young Black boys in our communities and I found them so beautiful, but I always was thinking, “when do black kids go from innocence to becoming threats?” But what really inspired the concept was when I was on the train listening to the song “Next Lifetime” by Erykah Badu. The song is about her contemplating leaving a relationship she’s in for another man, and by the end she comes to the conclusion it wouldn’t work, and she says, “maybe we’ll be butterflies,” and instantly I kept thinking about that concept. If we cannot find true freedom in this country, how do we find it? Is it through these means?

How do you approach storytelling?

I love experimental films. They allow me to push aside structure, and instead use words and images to make people feel. To me, it is a beautiful form of expression.

What impact do you hope this film will have?

I hope that my film this starts a dialogue. That they catch a glimpse of the lives of all the Black boys, as well as girls, who are far too often thrust into adulthood at a young age. That the images, as well as the intimate conversation between the two characters, illustrate society's impact on Black children and we begin to change it.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the film?

After watching the film, I hope that my film come away with a better understanding of the Black experience. That we want to experience all the freedoms that everyone else does without consequence. 

What are you working on next?

I am working on a short coming of age film this fall that I am currently writing!

Where can we follow your work?

My instagram is @daequan and that is the best way to follow my work or contact me. 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for allowing my film on this platform!

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