» Catalyst Series
Brown CINEMA Café

Tru Ruts and Intermedia Arts present
Brown CINEMA Café
In Partnership with IFP Minnesota
Curated by E.G. Bailey and Shá Cage

In partnership with Tru Ruts and IFP Minnesota, Brown CINEMA Café showcases work created by and about communities of color. Check back often for updates on upcoming screenings, dialogues, and more!


Waist Up
Short Films About Youth
June 1, 2017 | Thursday | Free, but RSVP Required
6:30PM | Music Mixer + Snacks
7PM | Film Screening

June's Brown CINEMA Café features a series of short films created for and about youth.


ABOUT TRU RUTS | truruts.com
Tru Ruts is an artistic organization based in Minneapolis with a history of high caliber artistic work ranging from films to theatre performances, a record label to workshops and residencies. Tru Ruts projects include Freestyle Theatre, Foto Libre, Speakeasy Records and others.


IFP Minnesota’s mission is to advance a vibrant and diverse community of independent film and media artists through networking, education, funding, and opportunities for showcasing their work. IFP MN envisions a world where expression through images is encouraged and valued. It is the goal of IFP MN to lead the way in supporting the independent filmmaker by creating a healthy and viable filmmaking community in Minnesota.



Brown CINEMA Café Launch Party Films:

Best When Sung From The Gutter: The World's First Motion Picture Ballad
by Toussaint Morrison, Jon Steinhorst, and Ryan S. Johnson
A preview of a cycle of spoken word films created/developed by MN spoken word and hip hop artist Toussaint Morrison.

Directed by Jennifer Reeder
A fictional portrait of a group of Muslim teen girls who take over a skate park in the middle of the night. This group of skaters strap helmets over hijabs and form an all-female force field on the half pipe. There at night, with no boys around, they are thriving and visible.
USA | 2016 | English | 15 min

A Film by D.A. Bullock
North Minneapolis - The day after peaceful protests were traumatized by terrorist violence, white supremacists shooting and injuring 5 residents.
USA | 2015 | English | 5 min

SOKO SONKO (The Market King)
Written & Directed by Ekwa Msangi
When her mother falls sick, Kibibi’s father, Ed, is tasked with taking her to the market to get her hair braided before school begins. Soko Sonko is a hilarious, fish‐out‐of‐water roller‐coaster of a journey, about a well‐intended dad who braves the fires and goes where no man has gone before...because only women have been there!
USA, KENYA І 2014 І Comedy І In Kiswahili, Sheng & English with English subtitles І 20 min


Selections from the America Now! Film Programme
August 2016’s Brown CINEMA Café featured selections from the America Now! Film Programme which premiered at the Tampere Film Festival (Finland). America Now! examines questions on the current face of America and the response of citizens, artists, and filmmakers while mobilizing a responsive dialogue through original and innovative works by today’s cutting edge independent media makers. 

by Valerie Schenkman Sanjines
Joel (26), an up and coming Latino immigration officer, moves to a small Hispanic town to pursue his career. After the first day of training, Joel realizes that his job is in direct conflict with his personal identity. Joel must decide how to serve his country while honoring his culture.

The Lovers 
by Johnny Vong
While on vacation in Los Angeles, the lives of a young Canadian couple are torn apart by an unspeakable act of violence.

An award winning film by Zak Cederholm and The Poet Azeem
With a foundation of raw emotional truth, and visual art, balanced on the thin line between fact and fiction,POSTERA is a poetic mosaic of past, present, and future, crafting a journey into the mystic mind of 'The Misfit King,' The Poet Azeem.

Women's Work

December 2016’s Brown CINEMA Café featured short films by and about women including Dark Space by Eri Mizutani'Amo' - uncle by Haya AlghanimStabilia by Mariama Slåttøy & Sveinung Gjessing, There was a Place by Irene Garces, and Primary Colors by Derek Price, produced by Emily Ramsay, featuring poet Roua Ajied.

Dark Space
Eri Mizutani


The movie revolves around a woman who has been involved in an accident and suffers from amnesia. Not remembering her own identity nor what the world was like before she was locked up in a hospital, she tries to discover the world for what it really is. Absorbed in her loneliness, the patient forms a relationship with a man. Both of them are lost and try to find a direction to live. They secretly meet up at nights without the egoistic doctors knowing. They are forced to face the consequences of their flame which is pregnancy. The movie presents the balance between forbidden love and reincarnation. The story is intertwining the past, the present and the future of their life struggle. One of the biggest role in the film is a light and shadow play, which creates an incredible impression for the viewer to follow the storyline happenings.

'Amo' - uncle
Haya Alghanim


'Amo’ is a portrait of the vibrant Arab hospitality and lifestyle rooted in the diaspora of Atlantic Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn. ‘Amo’ is an archaelogical journey of ‘Oriental Pastry and Grocery’ managed and owned by ‘Amo’ Ghaiath. ‘Amo’ explores belonging in the Arab diaspora.


Mariama Slåttøy & Sveinung Gjessing


A massive circular chamber, constructed of steel and heavy concrete. Play of light is created on the wall by an opening in the roof. A woman is laying motionless with her eyes closed on the rough surface, demarcated from the outside world in the rusty room with no exits. She seems small and fragile, but then she opens her eyes.

There was a Place
Irene Garces


Carlos has lived for years remote from the site near the sea where he and his family grew by an aversion to the figure of his father. When he dies, Carlos returns to face his disappearance in a way to reconnect with a part of his past that seems lost.

Primary Colours
Derek Price


A cinepoem by Sudanese-Canadian artist Roua Aljied, aka Philosi-fire, about the realities of domestic violence and how each step a woman takes is a new colour to paint on the canvass of her life. Created in partnership with Women in International Security Canada and the 16 Days of Activism Campaign in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and performed live for the 2016 International Women's Day ceremonies in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

"The first time I heard Roua recite Primary Colours was when we filmed it, wanting her delivery to be raw and honest, and most of that first take is still in the final product. It was overwhelming and beautify. Her slam poetry is a privilege to hear and is extremely personal and touching. She is not only a poet and artist, but an inspiring mover and shaker in the realm of activism and social justice. Her work draws you in and leaves you feeling like you've been punched in the gut with the poignant words in which she tells her stories. She is a force to be reckoned with."


Teenage Girls' Journey to Glory
February 3-4, 2017 | Friday-Saturday

Friday, February 3 - 7:30PM
Saturday, February 4 - 2PM

An uplifting documentary of a Nepali women's soccer team and its journey to the national championship. Sunakali will be preceeded by the Iraqi short film Baghdad Messi about a 10 year-old soccer fan whose television breaks just before the long-awaited clash between football legends Messi and Ronaldo. 

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota


A Part of Intermedia Arts' Catalyst Series