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Robert Carnilius’ Provocative Short Film ‘Jaspa Jenkins’ to Screen at Chicago International Film Festival

Robert Carnilius' Provocative Short Film 'Jaspa Jenkins' to Screen at Chicago International Film Festival

nothing wrong with being provocative and controversial, and that’s what Columbia
College Chicago MFA Film candidate, Robert Carnilius, set out to do with his latest short film, “Jaspa’ Jenkins,” which has been selected to be screened at the 50th anniversary
Chicago international Film Festival, which starts next week.

The Maryland
native, who was named, this week, in New City magazine as one of the Top 50 in film in Chicago, worked as a freelance graphic design artist before being accepted
into Columbia College’s graduate film program, and says that, even though “Jaspa’
Jenkins” was originally conceived as a class assignment, he “really wanted to hone my skill
and find my style and voice as well as discover my audience which included
getting my work out there and that… one of the most important things
I’ve taken away is that art is subjective and, despite rejection, it’s passion,
persistence and a plan of action that help you persevere.”

The inspiration
for his short came from actual experiences: Carnilius came face to face with racial
discrimination when he tried to find employment. “Some of them considered
dreadlocks, braids, afro’s to be extreme hairstyles that were not acceptable.
That pissed me off.”

Even more, he
was outraged by a racist Nivea ad showing a clean shaven Black man tossing away
his former head with a beard and afro. “With that, I really took a step back to look
at what media was saying about ethnicity and Blackness and it was disturbing.” 

As a result, he
began to realize that black people are
forced “to craft our entire identities to fit someone else’s standard of what it
means to be “presentable”, “clean”, “neat”,
“civilized”. This includes everything from how we speak to how we
act, and even dress. All of that in addition to the years I spent dealing with
my own racial insecurities because of internalizing damaging and racists
messages like that, I knew I had to do something. All of those feelings and
frustrations snowballed into the script for Jaspa’ Jenkins. It’s my hope that
the film hits a nerve and encourages everyone to be consciously aware of
messages in media.”

“Jaspa’ Jenkins” will screen at CIFF on Tue 10/14 5:45 PM, Fri 10/17 2:45 PM, and on Sun 10/19
12:00 PM.

In addition
the filmmaker will participate on a panel about short films during the festival: “The Long
and Short of It,” on Sat  10/18, starting
at  12:00pm.

For more
info go HERE.

Below is a teaser trailer for film:

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