Subjects: Race Power and Privilege, Queer Studies, US Politics
“In order to change the Senate, we have to change the Senators.”
Malcolm Kenyatta was born, raised, and still lives in North Philadelphia - one of the poorest neighborhoods in America’s poorest big city - where the median income is less than $10,000 per year and gun violence has surged to historic levels. The growing inequities that Malcolm experienced in his neighborhood inspired him to become involved in his community.
After spending many years as an activist, Malcolm becomes the first openly gay person of color to win a seat in the PA House of Representatives in 2018. In the years following his victory, he becomes known for his tenacity, energy, and the way he deflects veiled racist attacks from his Republican colleagues. As the 2022 election comes closer, Malcolm decides to run for US Senate, vowing to be a champion for working people:
Malcolm’s husband Dr. Matthew Kenyatta, Ph.D. is introspective and thoughtful, and he has never seen himself as a “first gentleman.” In addition to Dr. Matt giving us a unique insight into who Malcolm is, we also follow his personal journey as he navigates life in the public eye as a male spouse to a political figure.
Special Jury Award at the Roxbury International Film Festival 2023,
Official Selection at Frameline47, 2023 Sidewalk Film Festival,
2023 BFI Flare London LGBQTQIA+ Film Festival, 2023 Outfest Fusion, 2023 DocFest, Out on Film Atlanta LGBTQ Film Festival, Reeling 2023, aGLIFF / Prism Film Festival, 2023 American Documentary and Animation Film Festival
“Part love story, part political thriller.” - THE ADVOCATE
“Harris takes viewers into the behind-the-scenes of Kenyatta’s suspenseful campaign world and also captures intimacies that most election documentaries eschew.” - THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
“[A] game-changing film for representing the extremely personal plight of politicians who make up one or more marginalized communities.”- GayE MAGAZINE
About the filmmaker
Tim is a documentary film director whose short documentaries have debuted via The Atlantic and been selected to Oscar-qualifying festivals. Tim also directed campaign launch films for the winning political campaigns of Senator Mark Kelly and Congressman Ritchie Torres. He is passionate about telling heartfelt and honest stories that have a lasting impact on the audience.
Tim met Malcolm over a decade ago at Temple University in North Philly. Tim was directing a student-run show called Temple Smash, Temple’s version of Saturday Night Live, where Malcolm was invited to host an episode. Malcolm participated in sketches, including one called “Kenyatta’s Piñata’s” (why this never took off, we’ll never know). Tim and Malcolm got to know each other and Tim took notice as Malcolm’s career evolved from student government to well-known activist to first-time candidate in 2018.
Tim approached Malcolm about following him on election day in 2018. As Tim documented the day, he was in awe of Malcolm’s energy, stamina, and the genuine connection he was able to make with people, sometimes in an instant. Going Forward, the short documentary about Malcolm’s first race, debuted via The Atlantic, Tim and Malcolm kept in regular contact. Malcolm was impressed by Tim’s ability to tell a story not only about his first campaign, but about his personal journey.
When Malcolm confided in Tim that he was considering a run for senate, Tim knew the story had to continue, and that it was time to begin filming with Malcolm again as he embarked on a historic journey. Thus, Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn, was created.