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Discovering the History and Future of Black Surfers in Los Angeles

Inaugural Race and Sport Around the Globe Short Documentary Winner Announced
July 16, 2019
Rhasaan Nichols, Director of Walking On Water

“Walking On Water” Director Rhasaan Nichol’s on the beach with one of the documentary subjects.

In association with our partners, RSF Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF), it is our pleasure to announce our inaugural winner of the ‘Race and Sport around the Globe’ short documentary competition: Rhasaan Nichols’ Walking on Water, A Brief History on Black Surfers. A special thank you also goes out to our semi-finalists, Safiya Songhai and Taelor Scott. 

Take a look at the trailer and synopsis for a preview of the winning film:

Many are familiar with the famous Inkwell destination of Martha’s Vineyard, but America also has another beach with a similar history — in Los Angeles. From the 1900’s — 1960’s African Americans found leisure and community in a two-block stretch of Santa Monica beach marked “for colored use.” Today, a cohort of educators and sports enthusiasts are working together to help Black + Brown youth explore outside the inner city and reclaim their heritage at the beach through the power of surfing.

Walking on Water will be debuted during the 17th annual five day Oscar qualifying Martha’s Vineyard African American film festival August 5th-10th. In addition to the showing of the winning documentary, attendees will have the opportunity to watch an early screening of Brian Banks, the inspirational true story of Brian Banks (Aldis Hodge), an All-American high school football star committed to USC who finds his life upended when he is wrongly convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Despite lack of evidence, Banks is railroaded through a broken justice system and sentenced to a decade of prison and probation. Years later, with the support of Justin Brooks (Greg Kinnear) and the California Innocence Project, Banks fights to reclaim his life and fulfill his dreams of playing in the NFL starring Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, Sherri Shepherd, and Morgan Freeman.  

Find more details and buy tickets to the Global Sport Institute’s block at the festival here. 

To learn more about  Walking on Water director Rhasaan Nichols, check out his website here.  

From all of us at the Global Sport Institute - congrats, Rhasaan!