ASHES TO ASHES
A Film By Taylor Rees and Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker
With Renan Ozturk and Todd Rees
ASHES TO ASHES is an endearing portrait of Winfred Rembert, an avid Star Wars fan and master leather-work artist who survived an attempted lynching in 1967. This moving short documentary showcases the incredible friendship he has forged with Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker, as she creates and establishes an interactive art exhibit to memorialize the more than 4,000 African Americans who were lynched during the Jim Crow era.
ASHES TO ASHES is a collaboration many years in the making – produced by Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker (also a subject in the film), directed by Taylor Rees, and shot by Renan Ozturk. Dr. Shirley Whitaker Jackson is a neighbor of Rees’ from her childhood in Massachusetts. In 2015, Dr. Shirley asked Rees for help documenting her memorial, and together over a few years, they visited with, and listened to, the personal and lived experiences of Winfred. Overtime, the film evolved into a testament to the friendship between Dr. Shirley and Winfred, as well as an homage to their meaningful work using art to address racial injustices in America.
WINNER – Best Documentary Short – 2020 RiverRun International Film Festival
HONORABLE MENTION – 2020 Cleveland International Film Festival
Official Selection – 2020 DOC NYC Short List
Official Selection – 2020 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection – 2019 MountainFilm Telluride
Official Selection – 2020 HollyShorts Film Festival
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