Brief Tender Light
Brief Tender Light
Brief Tender Light
Brief Tender Light

Brief Tender Light

Regular price $375.00
Unit price  per 


    • Directed by: Arthur Musah
    • Released: 2024 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2023
Running Time: 93 min
Language: English
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Race Power and Privilege, Education Studies

PBS Lesson Plan for Grades 9-12


As undergraduate students at America’s premier technological university, a group of ambitious African students come of age, learning lessons in and beyond the classroom. They embarked on their MIT education with individual ambitions –  to run a civil engineering company and be a shining example for girls in Tanzania; to secure a better life for family in northern Nigeria; to contribute to postgenocide reconstruction in Rwanda; to enter into politics and the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe. Their missions are distinct, but fueled by a common goal: to become agents of positive change back home.

Even as their dreams are anchored in the societies they have left, their daily realities are defined by America – by the immediate challenges in their MIT classrooms and the larger social issues confronting the world outside of those classrooms. Their new environment demands they adapt. Each is forced to refine their ideas about the world and about themselves, ultimately deciding how much of America to absorb, how much of Africa to hold on to, and how to transform youthful ideals into adult action.  

WINNER, Best First Time Filmmaker: Newburyport Documentary Film Festival 2023 – World Premiere
WINNER, Best Documentary Feature Film: Tacoma Film Festival 2023 – West Coast Premiere
WINNER, Best Documentary Feature Jury Prize: Urbanworld Film Festival 2023 – New York Premiere
WINNER, Best Feature Film Audience Award: Urbanworld Film Festival 2023 – New York Premiere
WINNER, Youth Vision Award: United Nations Association Film Festival 2023
WINNER, Audience Choice/Best of Fest Award: Rockport Film Festival 2023
WINNER, Audience Award for Best Documentary: East Lansing Film Festival 2023
The Newport Beach Film Festival 2023 – California Premiere
St. Louis International Film Festival 2023 - Missouri Premiere
Pan African Film Festival 2024

About the filmmaker 



Arthur Musah is a filmmaker from Ghana, Ukraine, and the United States. Brief Tender Light is his debut feature, and had a US broadcast premiere on PBS/POV on MLK Day in 2024. The documentary secured coproductions from ITVS and American Documentary | POV, won the 2020 Paley Doc Pitch competition, and has been supported by the Sundance Sandbox Fund, the DCTV Docu Work-In-Progress Lab, Cinephilia Bound, the California Film Institute’s DocLands DocPitch, the Hot Docs Forum, the Gotham Documentary Lab, and hundreds of backers on Kickstarter. Since its world premiere in September 2023, Brief Tender Light has won several awards, including the Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature and the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the 2023 Urbanworld Film Festival in New York. Musah's prior short film, the 50-minute Naija Beta (2016) about Nigerian MIT students running a robotics camp for teenagers in Nigeria, played at festivals in the U.S., Africa, and Europe, and won the Roxbury International Film Festival’s Best Documentary Short and the Silicon Valley African Film Festival’s Achievement in Documentary awards, among others. Musah studied filmmaking in the MFA program at the University of Southern California. He also earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and worked as an engineer for nearly two decades. Learn more about his work at

Host a Screening and Book the Filmmaker at your Event