Grrrl Justice
Grrrl Justice
Grrrl Justice
Grrrl Justice

Grrrl Justice

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    • Directed by: Shontina Vernon
    • Released: 2024 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2018
Running Time: 16 min
Language: English
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Race Power and Privilege, African American Studies

A short narrative film, Grrrl Justice follows the stories of three characters – one being released from juvenile detention, another being exploited by a sex trafficker, and one navigating the school to prison pipeline. The film examines how traumatic backgrounds including family violence, racism, poverty, sexual abuse, homophobia and transphobia attach young people to systems that criminalize them, rather than alleviate the impacts of systemic oppression in their lives. It also takes an honest look at how these youth are employing their agency, body autonomy, and healthy resistance in pursuit of their own liberation.


About the filmmaker 


Shontina Vernon is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and musician exploring Black subjectivities,  intergenerational legacies around healing and trauma, and queerness. Drawing from her early experiences with the criminal justice system, her work experiments to disrupt narratives of erasure and to investigate the intersections of race, gender, and class. She earned her MFA from the University of Washington.

Vernon is a 2020 Art for Justice Grantee, a Creative Capital Award recipient, and a Conductive Garboil Award recipient for her community based work as Creative Director of the Visionary Justice StoryLab, a collective and film production hub evolving narratives rooted in liberation. Her plays and films have been developed and presented by HBO, New York Theatre Workshop, LaMaMa in collaboration with NEC, Northwest Film Forum, and ACT Theatre in Seattle among others. Vernon has served as an advisor and facilitator for the Arthouse Convergence working to advance racial justice in film.

Recent works include the plays WOMEN OF THE WILD ROOT and A LOVELY MALFUNCTION, as well as GRRRL Justice – an experimental short looking at the resistance and liberatory practices of girls and queer youth of color impacted by the juvenile justice system, and HER BLACK BODY POLITIC – a community devised spoken word and movement piece exploring the politics of the black female body and the way it occupies literal and poetic space. She is currently developing LAST KIND WORDS, a feature film on 1930s Black queer Blues life.

Vernon currently resides in Atlanta, GA.


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