Posted by Larry Gleeson
Nomination for the Glashütte Original Documentary Award at Berlin Film Festival
FOR AHKEEM (USA, 2017) is the coming-of- age story of an extraordinary young girl who never gives up as she strives to balance school, family, and trauma within the challenging world of being a Black teenager in America. This feature documentary by Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest will celebrate its world premiere at the section Forum of the Berlin International Film Festival and is nominated for the overall sections Glashütte Original Documentary Award. The prize will be presented during the official Award Ceremony in the Berlinale Palast. FOR AHKEEM is one of 16 documentaries that have been nominated for the Award.
Beginning one year before the fatal police shooting of a Black teenager in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, FOR AHKEEM is the coming-of-age story of Daje Shelton, a Black 17-year-old girl in North St. Louis. She fights for her future as she is placed in an alternative high school and navigates the marginalized neighborhoods, biased criminal justice policies and economic devastation that have set up many Black youth like her to fail. After she is expelled from her public high school, a juvenile court judge sends Daje to the court-supervised Innovative Concept Academy, which offers her one last chance to earn a diploma. Over two years we watch as Daje struggles to maintain focus in school, attends the funerals of friends killed around her, falls in love with a classmate named Antonio, and navigates a loving-but-tumultuous relationship with her mother.
As Antonio is drawn into the criminal justice system and events in Ferguson just four miles from her home seize the national spotlight, Daje learns she is pregnant and must contend with the reality of raising a young Black boy.
Through Daje’s intimate coming of age story, FOR AHKEEM illuminates challenges that many Black teenagers face in America today, and witnesses the strength, resilience, and determination it takes to survive.
Stay tuned for more on this poignant film!
(Source: rische & co pr)