CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Black Harvest Film Festival put on by the Gene Siskel Film Center played a production that tackled timely issues and displayed local talent.
Black Mama Sable, a short film, was directed by Seven Okema Gunn, a Chicago filmmaker and starred Chicago actors as well.
Veteran Chicago artist Masequa Myers played the fictional character Black Mama Sable, a wise and mystical grandmother.
"I thought about a woman that might be, that might take charge of the community. Somebody that might be overwhelmingly spiritual and giving towards the community. Somebody who was a community activist and somebody that the people could talk to," Okema said.
"I am just ecstatic about being a part because I used to perform a lot, and I have not acted in a long time. I have not been on the silver screen for several decades and so to be asked to come back in on a project like this, I was floored. She said that she wrote the role with me in mind or inspired by me, so you can't beat that," Myers said.
In the short film, Black Mama Sable nurtures the community and shares wisdom with her son, a Chicago police officer played by Simeon Henderson and his troubled 14-year-old daughter, played by Jada Hamilton. The film deals with allegations of police brutality and social injustice, as well as individual responsibility and spirituality all within the context of COVID-19.
"One of the reasons I think it's important to bring these films to the public is because we get a chance to see stories that we wouldn't ordinarily see. We get a chance to see stories that look like us," Myers said.
The film was shot entirely on the Southside of Chicago.
Black Mama Sable is one of the 40 shorts and 10 feature films spotlighted at the virtual film festival, which will run through the end of Nov.
For more information about the film festival, visit the website.