This past Friday, November 20th, Bria Davis, 22-year-old Texas Southern University student and Founder of thepeopleproject brought the city of Houston together for a dynamic evening of music, arts and culture with the screening of NAKED: A Documentary Series, thepeopleproject’s debut documentary series. Children and adults alike gathered at 4118 Fannin Studios to witness the emotionally stirring film along with powerful performances by special guests.
AJ McQueen, CEO of Writer’s Block Inc. delivers two moving pieces celebrating women and queendom
Before attendees witnessed NAKED, they were treated to a performance by AJ McQueen, CEO of Writer’s Block Inc. McQueen, joined by gifted singer and songwriter, Mic Tunez, delivered two moving pieces celebrating women and their queendom. Artist Raveen Alexis, who was also featured in the NAKED film, soothed listeners with a beautiful and deliberate a capella rendition of Musiq Soulchild’s powerful “Love” ballad. Morganne Nikole, who was also a NAKED collaborator, closed the evening with a profound and reflective piece entitled, Untitled 001.
NAKED: A Documentary Series was presented by thepeopleproject and Folklore Films. thepeopleproject (created by Davis) aims to document the day-to-day experiences of everyday people, and provides a voice for individuals to inspire others through their truth. With its mission, it appears that destiny brought Davis and Marlon Hall, Director of Folklore Films together. Folklore Films is a non-profit film company dedicated to telling stories of personal narratives that our city can glean from. Folklore Films uses mavens and do-gooders in the city as modern-day parables to communicate principles from which we can all grow.
Bria Davis, NAKED Producer/ thepeopleproject Founder (center), Marlon Hall, Director of Folklore Films (left) and Shelly Travis, Technical Assistant of Folklore Films (right)
When asked about how the Folklore Films collaboration came about, Davis recounted: “A few months ago, I met the director of Folklore Films, Marlon Hall and he changed my life. I was attending a Folklore event and I remember feeling so inspired and hungry to learn from them. My friend then introduced me to the Awakenings movement where Marlon is also the pastor there… That community took me in with open arms and once he saw how much I believed in this film, he gave me the opportunity to make all of this happen. Folklore helped me produce, edit and get behind the scenes of what it means to be a true film maker. Because of them I have become better in so many ways, and this is definitely not the end of NAKEDbyBria and Folklore Films.”
Sniffles and laughter could be heard around the intimate space where NAKED was screened for the very first time; and the packed house provided a sense of togetherness. The full audience scribbled notes on the note cards that were provided to them as questions popped into their minds, an idea encouraged by Davis.
NAKED attendees participate in a question and answer session following the screening
NAKED featured eight African-American women (Raveen, Peachez, Zoe, Shannon, Giselle, Terri, Kailah and Danie) who willfully and truthfully shared their stories of struggle, adversity, insecurity and perseverance. The film was brilliantly organized into movements which covered issues such as being black and being woman (beauty); self-loving; pain; freedom; and finally, speaking to your future self (futurism). Through this documentary, these courageous women sought to challenge the reverberated appropriation that society has placed upon the black woman’s attitude, image, and role by breaking their silence and boldly revealing their scars.
NAKED was inspired by Davis’ life. “Through these women, I shared pieces of my story, and wanted other women to have the opportunity to tell theirs. Silence is deadly, and I wanted to help heal the broken, awaken the dead, and set the lost free. These ladies were stripped down from everything that could possibly hide who they truly were. Being NAKED is being transparent. It’s uncovering each scar, demon, and part of you that you’ve fought to hide. Being NAKED is being free,” Davis expressed.
For more updates on thepeopleproject, follow Bria Davis on Instagram: @briaxlauren; visit thepplproject.com; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.