Honesty Taszhé Gant: “JEN”

From her formative years, Gant's creative journey has been guided by a profound appreciation for the power of storytelling, instilled in her by early bonding moments with her mother over movies, library visits, and museum outings. Graduating from Missouri State University with a B.S. in Digital Film and Television Production and later obtaining a Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing, Gant's academic journey laid the foundation for her work in the world of cinema.

Driven by a desire to amplify the voices and experiences of Black individuals, Gant's oeuvre is characterized by authenticity and representation. Her previous works, including "Post Miseriam" and "For Women Like You," have garnered attention and screened at festivals across the nation, earning accolades for their poignant exploration of love, loss, and the human condition. Now, with her latest masterpiece, "JEN," Gant delves even deeper into the complexities of grief, resilience, and the search for identity, offering audiences a profound meditation on the universal journey of self-discovery.

The film is about a thirteen-year-old, Jendayi "Jen" Washington who struggles to connect with the people and things around her after the sudden death of her grandmother. Forced to figure things out suddenly, Jendayi's mom decides a fresh start begins with a move and relocates her daughter to the confines of suburbia, hoping to alleviate their grief. Baring the responsibility of looking after her younger sister, and attempting to fit in with a popular trio at school, Jendayi begins to spiral out of control.

You can screen this film on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 3:15 p.m. at AMC Ward Parkway 14 for the Kansas City Film Festival International. It will also be screened on Sunday, April 14, 2024, at Wealthy Theatre for the Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival. Check out the trailer.

Nick Sparger: “Goon Girl”

A graduate of KCAI's Filmmaking program, Sparger's journey into the world of cinema was fueled by a passion for genre deconstruction, political commentary, and the seamless integration of visual effects to create immersive cinematic worlds.

With a keen eye for subversion and satire, Sparger's latest project, "Goon Girl," serves as a bold reimagining of contemporary action hero tropes, offering audiences a satirical take on the genre while delving into themes of political intrigue and societal commentary. Inspired by his father's work on the '80s superhero film "Goon Man," Sparger's legacy sequel breathes new life into the genre, inviting viewers on a thrilling journey through a world where masked vigilantes and crooked politicians collide.

You can screen this film on Saturday, April 13th, 7:40 PM, AMC Ward Parkway for the Kansas City Film Festival International. Check out the trailer.