Over the weekend, True Star premiered Altering by Kayla Onyeali and Just in Time by Miles Guichard, two short films written and directed over the summer by these winners of the Flip the Script Fellowship.
Located at Cinema Chatham, the first showing of the premiere started around noon with pictures and interviews on the red carpet. Once you entered the building, Guichard and Onyeali could be spotted signing posters for the audience that attended the screening. Guichard stated, “I’m still trying to process what is going on. I flew in from DC last night and now I’m inside a movie theater signing autographs while seeing my movie on the big screen.” Soon after, True Star presented both short films on the silver screen with over 100 family members, friends, and crew members eager to finally watch all the hard work come together.
Just In Time is a comedy about a boy named KJ (Caleb Green) who went missing under the care of his babysitter, Asia (Genesis Denise Hale). While frantically searching for him, Asia meets a hood detective named Justin Time (Deverin Deonte’) who assists her. Altering is a thriller filled with plot twists about a teenage girl (Genesis Denise Hale) with a abusive father (Glenn Hairston) debating on whether to kill her father or try to escape. The Altering depicts many serious topics like mental health and child abuse.
Both Onyeali and Guichard received an ovation after the screenings. At the end of the first showing, True Star alumni writer/director Shaquille Roberts moderated a panel discussion with the all female camera crew: Delina Ziron-Washington, Jael Green, Dominique Loving, and Jakyla Hester. They talked about their experience being camera operators and how True Star’s program has helped and will continue to help them in the future. “I want to go to USC film school, and I know it’s a very competitive school. My goal is to be a part of making 30 films by the time I apply,” said Jael Green. “I’m grateful that True Star guided me with my first two.”
Around 3:40 p.m. a new group of attendees started making their way to the theater for the second showing. After that screening, there was a panel moderated by last years Flip the Script winner Gary Langfield Jr. featuring the directors and cast members of the short films. The day ended with a wrap party at Gallery Guichard.
Thompson said she was pleased with how the event turned out. “I feel blessed to be a part of this life changing experience for Chicago youth. I am overjoyed with the turnout of the Flip the Script screening and excited for the future.”
Overall, it was an excellent and exciting premiere and a wonderful experience for everyone. Seeing all of the hard work over the summer come together was amazing. In total, the short films cost about $50,000 to make. To keep programs like this going we need donations, so be sure to click the link below to support.
If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the next fellowship, keep your eyes on our platforms for information about the application when it comes out in January 2024.
By Jael Green | Instagram: @jaeizzle
*Christopher Lockridge contributed to this article. (Instagram: Lockotb)