Bad Blood is about a young 10-year-old girl experiencing her period while her older sister struggles to create an identity outside of the family. When Olivia starts her period the night of the church sleepover and Andrea wants to party with her friends, they are forced to reckon their relationship.
Mission StatementBad Blood was created by a team of enthusiastic, collaborative individuals. Our Black women and gender non-conforming led crew is dedicated to expanding the narratives of coming-of-age films to encompass Black women and girls.
About The Project
Coming-of-age stories typically center on one individual's journey from adolescence to adulthood, but what happens when you and someone close to you are on different journeys simultaneously? Bad Blood explores the challenges of clashing coming-of-age journeys, something we all experience but rarely acknowledge.
On an Autumn Friday, 10-year-old Olivia gets her period for the first time. However, she shields the truth from her mother, Sharon, and her older sister, Andrea, in hopes of attending a sleepover at the family's church. Blind to her younger sister's experience, Andrea continues to defy her mother's wishes as she searches for freedom & her identity outside of their family. Unable to communicate as they wish they could, these two sisters find themselves navigating their coming-of-age stories as they try to overcome inevitable changes in their relationship.
(Still from Bad Blood, Olivia, 10)
(Excerpt from Bad Blood’s lookbook)
This film is for anyone unlearning the terrible lessons we were taught as children and learning to be compassionate to ourselves as adults. It is especially for Black folks of all ages who struggle to reconcile their identities outside of their family while trying to have a relationship with them.
We hope this film helps.
Caitlyn Johnson, Ahlaam Delange, Sierra Jackson
(Bad Blood BTS)
I am drawn to storytelling that reflects Black girlhood through its varying stages. These stages offer life-changing experiences that alter our trajectory and give insight into lessons we keep as we are molded into autonomous individuals. What is unique about stories of Black girlhood is our understanding of the world and how that world may view us in return. With that in mind, I wanted to interrogate the formative lessons of my own life and how experiences of my youth are prevalent in my day-to-day life as a Black woman.
What I was able to trace led me back to my body and the two emotions I quickly began to associate with this vessel: shame and embarrassment. This film investigates how our environments and familiar relationships lie pivotal in the roadmaps of our lives. Furthermore, it attempts to relay the tradition of the Black Coming of Age stories. Burnett’s My Brother’s Wedding, Lee’s Crooklyn, and Lemmons’ Eve’s Bayou have greatly influenced my understanding of the genre and how that looks when the Black experience is centered in those narratives.
(Everett Silas in My Brother’s Wedding, 1983)
(The children of Crooklyn, 1994)
(Eve and Cisely in Eve’s Bayou, 1997)
These films prompted me to ask myself what a Coming of Age story looked like for Black youth from traditional backgrounds growing up just as the world around them began to rapidly change.
(My older sister, dad, and myself at her Whitney M. Young Graduation, 2007)
Thank you in advance,
This film is currently in post-production! We need a Colorist to execute the look of the film and a sound designer and mixer to build out the texture of the film. The funds will also go towards our graphic designer and composer, who will further take a look and feel of this short film even further.
Why us? Beyond representation, this film has the potential to challenge our understanding of coming of age stories and what it means to be Black, young, and on the edge of a new journey. We were all once children becoming adults or are now children journeying into adulthood. We believe our team of promising filmmakers has the empathy and thoughtfulness required to tell stories of coming into adulthood.
Why this? Our coming-of-age story offers a unique perspective of two perspectives in a relationship and the struggle to reconcile change outside of two people’s control. We must develop the skills to be with one another during transition rather than scorn each other for the inevitable.
(Still from Bad Blood, Andrea)
Why now? Over the last year, collectively, we have gone through changes as a society that affect us all. While this change is unprecedented, it doesn’t minimize all of the other changes that come with growing up. Therefore, children and adults must find media that helps them process their experiences. Now that growing up is more complicated than ever, Black girls and women-identifying people have access to seeing themselves reflected in the media too.
Why you? Creating a film is a collaborative effort. Contrary to popular belief, it takes a whole team of people and incredible support in everything you see. We hope this film can challenge our approach to uncomfortable conversations, and the more people we can have joining us in that mission, then we can finish editing this film and showing it.
Please Follow & Share Our Campaign
We will be distribution ready with this support, and this film will be able to live within communities where characters and stories like this film are a reality. We want our film to be accessible for all those needing to see a story about young Black girls finding themselves. By joining us, we will be able to show screenings throughout Black communities in New York and Chicago and enter into festivals. Also, we'll be able to pay the crew that used their valuable time and effort into creating this film!
Sharing our campaign on your social media is as helpful as a donation. Doing BOTH goes a long way to helping bring Bad Blood to life!
Caitlyn Johnson, Ahlaam Delange, and Sierra Jackson
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About This Team
Caitlyn Johnson, Writer, Director, Editor & Producer
Caitlyn Johnson (CJ) is an award-winning director-producer and is currently an MFA candidate at NYU’s Kanbar Film Institute. CJ’s work is rooted in providing outlets for marginalized and underserved communities to produce their own stories through independent filmmaking. Her background includes cinematography, editing, development, documentary, and film festival programming concentrated in interdisciplinary and radical storytelling. In 2018, CJ co-created and directed the highly acclaimed web series, Seeds (OTV), which follows four Black young women while navigating relationships, politics and sex through their friendship and conversation. CJ also directed OTV’s THOTless pilot that further interrogates those same themes as they pertain to queer and marginalized identities. As CJ continues her MFA program, she hopes to continue the tradition of radical storytelling as it pertains to the varying Black experiences in the US.
Andreas Nicholas, Producer
Andreas Nicholas is an award-winning writer, director, and producer born and raised in Chicago. He is currently a second year MFA candidate in the writing/directing program at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts where he is pursing his passion for making underrepresented (specifically queer) stories accessible to mainstream audiences. Most recently, he was the lead producer on the film Little Sky, which gained a 3 year distribution deal with HBO. Prior to grad school, he ran a branded content and story design company for which he is the recipient of 16 international creative awards. He has created commercial content for clients such as the Harvard Medical School, Gates Foundation, and Caring Across Generations. Andreas is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and is known among peers for his skill in combining entrepreneurship and artistry with storytelling to create positive change in the world.
Marshall Wayne Cooper III, Director of Photography
Marshall Wayne Cooper III is a director and cinematographer from Harlem, New York. He is currently a part of NYU’s Grad film program and is pursuing his MFA in Directing. In 2019, he left broadcast television to pursue his directing/cinematography career. His commercial credits include Adidas, Alpha Industries, Reebok and more. Marshall’s stories take a deep look at American culture with a focus on inner city life.
Ahlaam Delange, Co-Producer
Ahlaam Delange is a director who discovers their truth by exploring empathy, adventure, discovery, and love in film. Their work employs immersive worlds and layered characters who come to terms with the complexities of their lives, legends, and the process of self-actualization. These films challenge cultural monoliths about the roles of men and women in Desi and Black communities by drawing from their life experience as a first-generation Coloured South African, Black, Desi, Muslim, Queer growing up in a rural town in Texas. They hope others feel the depth of their self-work in their scripts and visuals.
Sierra Jackson, Co-Producer
Sierra Jackson is a filmmaker and producer from Chicago. She has worked in and studied media, youth education, and program management for over a decade. Currently, Sierra works as a Producer for Chicago-based Creative Studio, Breakfast for Dinner. Her work centers meditative storytelling, the power of trying, and using personal narratives as guides for the future. When not working on creative projects, Sierra supports the Chicagoland scholarship The Endurance Scholarship as its Founder.
Bethiael Alemayoh, Assistant Director
Bethiael Alemayoh is a filmmaker and producer based in New York and Texas. After interning for Richard Linklater, she created and directed the short film series, We Are, which was distributed by Issa Rae Productions. Her short film Yirga had its world premiere at SXSW and went on to screen at Blackstar Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and more. She has produced short films, music videos and social media campaigns. Currently, she is in her second year of study in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program.
Alvin Cobb Jr., Composer
Alvin Cobb, Jr., a native of metropolitan Atlanta, is an musician, producer, photographer, and educator currently based in Chicago, IL. In addition to Atlanta’s urban music scene, his earliest influences consisted of his father’s eclectic record collection, the rich tradition of southern drum corps and the marching bands of historically black colleges and universities (HBCU's), and the a cappella gospel singing he grew up hearing on Sunday mornings. Alvin formally studied jazz percussion under Leon Anderson, Jr., and Willie Jones III. He is a graduate of Florida State University (B.A. in Music Performance and Jazz Studies, 2013) and Northwestern University (M.M. in Jazz Studies, 2015).