Hey APC! My name is Natalie Jasmine and I am a 21-year-old film student from Maryland and I am studying film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. I identify as Black/African American. My passions for film lie particularly in coming of age narratives and stories that center explorations of identity. All three of the films below do just that but across different genres. One is a music video, one is an experimental short film, and the other is a narrative short film. Follow my work on Instagram, @nataliearising and my website nataliejharris.com
Metamorphosis is a short film that I created in my intermediate production class at NYU. It has played at over 10 film festivals and has garnered attention both domestically and internationally. The film is inspired by some of my own personal experiences, but it was also heavily inspired by my own fantasies about things I wish I could have had growing up. “Metamorphosis” tells the story of a young girl who is days away from leaving her hometown for college. She has a lot of insecurity when it comes to her sexuality and turns to her support system of best friends as well as her mother for guidance. When I was in high school I didn’t know who to turn to for this kind of support, but I would often imagine what it would be like to have another queer best friend and to be out to my mother. So, in Metamorphosis, I channeled all of those figments of my imagination/fantasies into the reality that my main character, Amani, experiences. I hope that in using my art to introduce the things that I once imagined for myself, those fantasies can become possible for someone else.
Uma Fruta Estranha (A Strange Fruit)
Uma Fruta Estranha is an experimental short film that I created after studying abroad in Brazil. I grew fascinated by the similarities between Afro-Brazilians and African-Americans. We might be divided by a language, but we are united by an ocean, a slave trade, spiritual systems, music, dance, and so much more. We are also united by our tears: our struggles with police brutality, erasure, marginalization, and many other forms of violence and discrimination. Uma Fruta Estranha is a visual poem exploring the struggles that bind us across continents. However, it is also a reflection of the resilience and beauty that our ancestors instilled in us – the glue that connects us within this African Diaspora.
Self-Destruct (Mumbai Mix) Music Video
In the Spring of 2019, I directed a music video for NYU Clive Davis student, Tanya Vora (IG: @_tanyavora_). The music video is to her song, “Self-Destruct (Mumbai Mix).” Creating a music video was something that I had not done before so it was daunting at first, but I had an amazing team of primarily women and non-binary filmmakers of color that truly enhanced the project! The energy that we had on set was incredible. Tanya’s song has a dark vibe and talks about “self-destructing” by putting yourself in relationships/positions that hurt you. It’s generally a nice song to jam to but carries weight in its message as well. I wanted for the music video to reflect this same level of complexity so we created four distinct elements within it to represent different stages of self-destruction. As a director, I also wanted to pay homage to Tanya’s identity as an artist. So we incorporated elements within the video that related to her Indian culture and included a female love interest in the video as well to represent her queer identity. I had a great experience creating this music video and I’m proud that we have gained almost 2,000 views on YouTube!