What is it?:
The Global Sport Institute at ASU has partnered with the 17th Annual RSF Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival presented by Run & Shoot Filmworks for the inaugural competition in celebration of the annual theme, Race and Sport Around the Globe. Together, we invited filmmakers to share their vision of how the power of sport can be translated through the lens of film in a short documentary format.
The Judgement Process:
In January, over 40 filmmakers submitted five to twelve minute documentary concepts that demonstrate the impact of Race and Sport Around the Globe. The proposed pieces were asked to show how the power of sport can ignite creativity, passion, and social change. From these documentary concepts, three submissions were selected as semifinalists and given a prize of $10,000 to support the creation of a complete documentary work.
Upon completion, these three films will compete for the grand prize. One runner-up will have their completed documentary presented at the 2019 RSF Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. One grand prize winner will receive an additional $5,000.00 plus travel and two-nights accommodations to the 2019 RSF Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival.
Meet our Semi-Finalist Filmmakers
1. Safiya Songhai, INTERCEPTION: Jayne Kennedy-American Sportscaster
In the early 1970’s, Jayne Kennedy is knocking down racial barriers at a breakneck speed. She’s the first African-American winner in the Miss Ohio competition, later a top finalist in the Miss USA competition. Hollywood films, Emmy Awards, magazine covers, endorsements with major brands — the world is witnessing the rise of a revolutionary sex symbol. But in 1978, Jayne Kennedy — the sex symbol decides to become Jayne Kennedy — the serious journalist. The boys club of sports journalism passes the mic to a pioneer of female sportscasters. And this woman is an Amazon, towering above her predecessors. Football is the nation’s most highly rated televised sport, and now a striking Sepia-skinned Ethiope covers every play. Millions of American households tune into CBS’s ‘NFL Today’ and the syndicated Television series ‘Greatest Sports Legends.’ The country beholds the rise of a new sport authority — Jayne Kennedy — Black, beautiful, and refusing to fumble. She changed the game — when she covered the game.
Songhai’s first films, LadyLike, and In Silent Spaces both follow Black female protagonists and explore themes of sisterhood, mother/child relationships, religion, spirituality, and the male gaze. Both films earned top honors at film festivals nationwide, and later premiered on PBS. LadyLike was incorporated into lesson plans as middle school curriculum to teach about religious tolerance and the various interpretations of the feminine ideal.
In addition to film-making, Songhai has worked as a television commentator for CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, discussing topics concerning racial profiling, the George Zimmerman trial, police brutality, and the impact of the murder of Trayvon Martin.
Safiya is the niece of acclaimed portrait artist Barkley Hendricks, and the cousin of actress, model and sportscaster Jayne Kennedy Overton.