Grandmother and Granddaughter Share the Bond of Activism in ‘Riverment’

"How women have been, and will continue to be in the forefront of all movements."
Indiewire's Project of the Day: 'Riverment'

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Logline: A former civil rights activist copes with her traumatic experiences by sharing her stories with her granddaughter by the river. With her granddaughter wanting to continue the fight, will generational differences push them apart?

Elevator Pitch:

Civil Rights activist Maureen was no stranger to racial injustices and traumatic events while fighting for equal rights. To cope with what she’s encountered, Maureen spends her time in her favorite place of peace, the riverbank, where she shares stories about her past to her granddaughter Tyna. Now 19 years old, Tyna has become a freedom fighter in her own right, tackling inequalities and discrimination occurring on her college campus. When Tyna decides to take her activism outside the proposed safe boundaries of school, Maureen fears for her granddaughter’s safety, and ultimately her sanity.

Production Team:

Writer & Director – Shayla Racquel is the quintessential creative, born and raised in the South but currently living in the city of Washington, DC. Riverment will serve as Shayla Racquel’s thesis film and third major film project. Her first film project was a webseries entitled “Quarter Century,” which highlighted the quarter life crisis experienced by African Americans living in DC and New York. The series went on for two seasons and was highlighted in prominent blogs such as For Harriet and Vibe. Her second film project was a short film entitled “Life’s Checklist” which follows two people as they experienced pre-wedding jitters before their big day. The film was accepted into eight film festivals and won awards in four, including Phenomenal Women In Film – Best Short Film.

Producer – Lindsey Sitz currently works as a scriptwriter and production coordinator at production companies in DC (WILL Interactive & Fluent Visual). She just wrapped her newest film project “Cowlick” in which she wrote and directed.

Producer – Mitra Arthur has a background in Performing Arts Management & Education, Event Producing, Grant Writing, and various Theatre Arts areas including Performance, Dramaturgy, and Stage Management after time with various theatre companies, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Capital Jazz Productions. After several years in the live arts, she has begun exploring the cinematic arts and is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Electronic Media at American University. Mitra received her Bachelors of Arts in English and Music from Columbia College, SC.

Director of Photography – Ross Godwin is an award-winning filmmaker from Washington, DC, and an MFA graduate of American University. A writer, director, and cinematographer, Ross has worked on a variety of different projects across genres and across the globe; from Alaska, to Czech Republic, from Mexico to the Isle of Saba, and everywhere in between. Ross and Shayla teamed up most recently in 2015 on the award winning film, Life’s Checklist. The two team up again for the much anticipated civil rights inspired film, Riverment.

Editor – Jay Sweet is a filmmaker hailing from Chicago, IL. In 2012, Jay graduated from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor’s of Science from the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications. He is a former commercial producer at ABC 27 in Tallahassee, Fl. He produced his first short film “Chain Music” in 2014. He currently resides in Nashville as a producer for his film company Take Heed Films. His latest work can be found on

About the Film:

My grandparents were never coy about their experiences growing up in S.Carolina during the 50s & 60s. Many conversations about their past sparked my interest in racial issues/awareness, however after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, our conversations drastically changed, sparking the idea for “Riverment.” Using the dynamic relationship between a grandmother and a granddaughter, “Riverment” centers women to showcase how women have been, and will continue to be in the forefront of all movements. The film is set in the present day and presents a compelling and timely dialogue from two different generations, with two different approaches.

Current Status: We are currently fundraising and are in pre-production. We are set to shoot in late September with an expected release in early 2017.

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