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The Hustle and Homesickness of Being an Artist of Color: July’s Web Series and VOD Picks

The Hustle and Homesickness of Being an Artist of Color: July's Web Series and VOD Picks

It’s hard to make it in the city, not least in the world of entertainment. Our two July picks for web series both feature struggling
artists trying to succeed. The Spurlock sisters’ satirical “Livin’ the
Dream” follows NYU film school graduate Kit Scanlon in her battle to get
her first feature into production. With “Polyglot,” another sister
duo, Rwandan-German Amelia Umuhire and Amanda Mukasonga, have created a series
following young international artists of color trying to find their place in

Sisterhood is less harmonious in Stacey Sherman’s “The
Breakup Girl,” one of our VOD picks. Three estranged sisters must come together when their father falls ill. And
in “Spare Change,” a young woman struggles with unemployment and
finds a creative solution to her money troubles: feigning homelessness.


The Breakup Girl – Written and Directed by Stacey Sherman

In Stacey
Sherman’s feature debut, three estranged sisters reunite when their father
announces he’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Each sister is dealing with
her own problem: Eldest sister Sharon (Wendi
McLendon-Covey) feels frustrated in her marriage. Middle sister Claire (Shannon Woodward) struggles with pushing 30 when her boyfriend dumps her. Youngest sister Kendra (India Menuez) is trying to break into acting and is
jealous of her more successful roommate. But their father’s illness puts their
navel-gazing problems into perspective.

Spare Change –
Written by Stephanie Mathless

Jane (Lissa Lauria) is also a typical spoiled millennial.
After getting fired from her job for showing up late and getting drunk during
lunch, she discovers that she can make money doing nothing. Along with her best
friend Lily (Elyse Levesque), she hatches a plan to feign homelessness and find
different, creative ways to get money from strangers. Although successful at
first, when Jane befriends an actual homeless girl and her ex-boyfriend shows
up back in town to work with non-profit homeless shelters, Jane’s life quickly
begins to unravel. Available on VOD on August 4.

Web Series

Livin’ the Dream – Created by Kim Spurlock and Mai Spurlock Sykes

Mai and Kim Spurlock created “Livin’ the Dream” based
on Kim’s struggles to get her first feature off the ground after graduating from film school at NYU. In the series, 35-year-old Kit Scanlon (Laura Campbell) watches all of her younger classmates succeed, while can’t convince anyone to invest in her screenplay, “Blood
into Tears.” The insider’s POV series hilariously takes us to a film-school award show, failed auditions and a Hollywood meeting, where the agent
tells her he’s looking for something “more high concept” and
“franchisable — with a male lead.” A voodoo Barbie doll given by Kit’s kooky sister plays an unforgettable part. So far, eight episodes are available.

Polyglot – Created by Amelia Umuhire

A polyglot is a person fluent in several languages,
and that’s what the creator, leading actress and protagonist of the web series of the same name are. Rwandan-German visual artist and filmmaker Amelia Umuhire directs, while
her sister Amanda Mukasonga plays the leading character, Babiche Papaya. A
young rapper and poet, she’s trying to settle into the art scene in Berlin. The
first episode sees her searching for an affordable apartment and interviewing
with a group of international Berliners. In the second episode, she suffers
from homesickness. Unable to afford a ticket home, she gets her hair done
instead. The series feels very real and captures the feelings of split
identities and homesickness mixed with the thrill of starting afresh. We’re
excited to watch future episodes, which according to Umuhire will feature more young
polyglot characters. 

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