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Watch ‘Soft Focus’ (2nd S&A Black Filmmaker Challenge Winning Project)

Watch 'Soft Focus' (2nd S&A Black Filmmaker Challenge Winning Project)

Rod Gailes OBC’s Soft Focus – the winner of the second Shadow And Act Black Filmmaker Challenge winning script – is now available to watch in full online, and is embedded below.

The completed premiered over the summer at the NYU Cantor Film Center as part of a retrospective of Rod’s work.

The roughly 25-minute film that stars Damion Omar Lee, Angela Lewis, Madeleine Dauzart, and introducing Aaron Clifton Moten.

Soft Focus is a portrait of Marcus

… a repressed college student pursuing a deeper carnal knowledge to escape his religiously strident home life.

It presents a rare look at familial relationships, sexuality, and sexual identity, and will likely push a few buttons. But that’s part of the motivation of the competition – to finance the kind of work that challenges mainstream cinema homogeneity. 

For those unaware, the competition is held twice a year; in short, filmmakers submit their original short film scripts (5 to 10 pages); we read them all, select a winner, and Shadow & Act Films gives them the funds to go make the film. There’s more to it than that, but that’s the gist of it.

Watch Soft Focus in full immediately below:

SOFT FOCUS from CEI Media Partners on Vimeo.

This Article is related to: Features



I found the movie to be rawly stated. It was enlightening to see a film which focused on the abuse of black men in the black community and how people who are insane(hyper-religious) use religion as a justification to " "cleanse" and "abuse" their children, (emotionally, physically)-men. Would love to see a longer version. Kudos to the actors, writer and producer. Nice!

Jelani Maleeq

I found some parts a little hard to watch only because I know several people who live this as a reality … I strongly disagree with the comment about this being a bad film or the unnecessary Carrie reference … I'm assuming this is a short version of what may e a full film … I wish the director the best and look forward to seeing the full version … Loved the "nerd kid"!


The mom reminds of the true story of John List. Overly religious which in turn has her growm married son murder his entire family because he felt that they were dirty. Good job! Would like to see this one in full!

julius hollingsworth

The writing for the Mom was a little over done but .On the whole I liked this short.In fact this is the second Rod Gailes short I've seen that I liked, the first was AIDS PSA.Keep working.Keep growing.The acting seemed pretty honest to me.


Wow… I mean really wow… I was expecting the lead actor to start using his telekinetic powers on his mother. This in all fairness was not a good film guys. No arc, no true story and badly acted. What planet does this film take place on? Wow…

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