This is installment #15 of Shadow And Act’s #ShortFilmShoutout series.
With many factors such as exorbitant housing prices and gentrification threatening to displace many Black families in America, filmmaker Stewart Gray III has used his semi-autobiographical short film to hone in on this notion of rebuilding.
An official selection of the 2019 Blackstar Film Festival, What This Place Meant opens up with a simplistic image of a brother and sister duo playing outside. Gray’s searing short chronicles a family of four tasked with redefining their idea of home after being displaced by a house fire.
Gray’s directorial eye is present throughout the short, showcasing aspects of the family home before its disintegrated in a fire. Afterward, the family stays at a neighbor’s home and Gray’s short film takes viewers on an emotional odyssey of what their home meant to them and rebuilding from the ashes they’ve been dealt.
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