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Khalik Allah's Black Mother

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Khalik Allah’s Black Mother

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Khalik Allah’s Black Mother

Packing a fervent wallop only with his still photography (check out his just published hard cover Souls Against the Concrete) we were initially introduced Khalik Allah via the Filmmaker Magazine’s New Faces 25 profile, and then his docu-essay short, Field Niggas which was nominated for a Cinema Eye Honor award in 2016. There has been a snowball effect since then. The future appears to be bright for Allah – and we can certainly say this after the dope contribution to Beyonce’s visual album, Lemonade, but we’re anticipating his brand of poeticism in the longer format to move into a darker place. Allah’s shooting style makes him ideal (and welcomed) for street fly-on-the-wall portraits and we can expect a confluence of different styles in this film according to his account at True/False. Supported by the Cinereach folks, Black Mother was a recent recipient of the Art of Nonfiction Fellows (Sundance in partnership with Cinereach) and in the words of this artist, “I’m depicting the undepicted. I’m taking what I did in Field Niggas, and multiplying that times ten.”

Gist: This casts a lens between the prostitutes and churches of Jamaica, the result is a nuanced polyphonic symphony, heightened by a level of intimacy and complete immersion in spirit. A timely respite from the bad news and a response thereto — a film punctuated by prayers, scored with laughter and fortified with hope. Allah introduces us to a succession of vibrant, idiosyncratic souls who call this island home. Their candid testimonies provide a penetrating glimpse into this misunderstood corner of the world and also a radical outlook on survival.

Production Co./Producers: Khalik Allah.

Prediction: They usually don’t program docs, but just like Tim Sutton’s Dark Night, the hybrid could end up in the NEXT section.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). TBD (international)



Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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