When They Could Fly

2006, 28 min.

When They Could Fly (2006)

Texas Black Film Festival, 2007
Best Short Film and Best Over All Film Award

Buffalo Niagara Film Festival in Buffalo NY 2007
Best Drama Award

Cityvisions, New York 2006
Best Production Design Award


Director Piotr Kajstura
Screenplay Stephan P. Lindsey
Cinematography Ted Ciesielski
Music Hekiro Matsuoka
Art Director Beth Hedegor
Producer Piotr Kajstura, Emilia Moran, Stephen P. Lindsey
Bella Folake Olowofoyeku
Samuel Freeman Robert Johnson
Mean Overseer Andy Locklair
Augustine Livingston Thomas
Mae Shelby Henderson
This poetic film is a cinematic adaptation of a magical folktale, which uses the period of American slavery as a stage to show how people can survive and overcome the most extreme experiences by the power of their own will. In the film, a group of slaves on a South Carolina cotton plantation learn that people in Africa practice magic, and have developed the ability to fly. This idea of transcendence is a necessity for human existence in times when there is nothing else to believe in. Here, our protagonist holds on to this magical belief, and it changes the group’s shackled lives.