Reel Sisters film festival presents the short documentary ‘A Place for Us,’ in which director Kimberly Jones-Wise follows one family’s decision to move to Africa
by Iman Childs
The short film A Place for Us documents the journey of an African-American family who, on a quest for a new home, is exploring various places in Africa. The documentary by filmmaker Kimberly Jones-Wise will screen at this year’s Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film + Lecture Series Festival on Saturday, October 21 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Reel Sisters, the first film festival in Brooklyn dedicated to women of color, is celebrating its 20th anniversary and returns this weekend, boasting a full program with over 30 film screenings in Brooklyn and Harlem.
A Place for Us narrates the story of an African-American family who, tired of police brutality and racism they face in America, considers moving to Africa to raise the 10-year-old son in a safe space, where he can feel like he fits in and belongs. They embark on an exploratory trip to the continent, visiting South Africa and Namibia, with the hope and determination to find a new home.
As an African American woman considering starting her own family, director Kimberly Jones-Wise connected to the film’s protagonists on a very personal level.
“Me and the mother, we connected almost immediately. Everything that she felt and everything that she feared, I feel and I fear,” said Jones-Wise. “It was an exploration for me to see if it was even a possibility for me to want to move to the continent and try to find a better way to live.”
Kimberly Jones-Wise, born and raised in Paterson, NJ, received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Cornell University. During her undergraduate years, her love of journalism led her to found the Black Perspectives campus newsletter which provided a forum for topics and discussion relevant to students of color. After graduation, Jones-Wise continued to develop her interest in journalism by working as a freelance reporter for the North Jersey Media Group and earning a professional development certificate from MediaBistro in digital journalism. Inspired by documentaries such as “Waiting for Superman” and “Blackfish,” she obtained her master’s degree from New York University where she completed her thesis project, A Place for Us.
Watch the entire interview by Iman Childs in which Jones-Wise shared her experiences about making a film that is international in scope, how she met the subjects of the film and discussed the importance of film festivals like Reel Sisters.
A Place for Us will screen at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Brooklyn on Saturday, October 21. Tickets are on sale here.
Reel Sisters Film Festival offers affordable ticket prices, starting at $12 for a section pass is $12 and $35 for a one-day pass is $35. For a full schedule and tickets please visit reelsisters.org or call 347-534-3304/ 212-865-2982.