We are excited to announce that our short film, Smallman: The World My Father Made, will have its US premiere at the 23rd Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, California. Self-proclaimed as “the quintessential Black festival,” PAFF is dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding among people of African descent. Taking place from February 5th to 16th, it also happens to be the largest Black History Month event in the USA.
Founded in 1992 by Danny Glover, Ja’net DuBois and Ayuko Babu, the Pan African Film Festival has grown to be the best attended, most prestigious Black film festival in the USA. The PAFF showcases films promoting positive images of people of African descent and exploring their diversity and complexity.
Smallman is an evocative documentary about Kenwyn Rawlins, an ordinary man of modest means by day, and an amazing craftsman by night. It is based on an e-book by his son, Richard Rawlins who narrates this beautiful story of worlds both real and imagined.
“Representing a rupture from conventional notions of Black manhood, Brown’s tale presents the humble life, loves and heartbreak of this unexpected hero. Smallman offers an alternative look at the Black male experience, of one Caribbean man in particular.
Her latest film means to challenge assumptions about Black men, Brown said, but more importantly, the project means to tell the story of this unsung Caribbean-everyman.
Brown said she, “wanted to tell the story in a Caribbean context,” in order to debunk conventions and pop cultural myths that presume Black men don’t have intellectual hobbies, pastimes that challenge the senses, and require the use and mastery of equipment, and the development of a distinct skill over extended periods of time.
“[Caribbean men do more than] play cricket, soccer and go drinking…” she said in a recent interview for AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange.
In England, Brown continued, such a hobby would be more typical. But “hobbies that have to do with making things, in particular,” Brown said, “is not something you see everyday in the Caribbean.”