Merawi Gerima is a filmmaker whose work focuses on going outside the boundaries of creative conventions to discover and cultivate an authentic artistic. Born and raised in Washington DC, Gerima’s origin informs his work and his community-centered orientation.
His recently released his first commercial, “Love You Forever” for Drake’s NOCTA X Nike line, launching the label’s custom AF1 in honor of Drake’s favorite childhood book “Love You Forever” and the sentiment of the phrase.
RESIDUE, his hauntingly personal feature debut was a communal endeavor, made possible primarily by the effort of the people it attempts to portray. Written and directed by Gerima, RESIDUE follows aspiring filmmaker Jay (Obinna Nwachukwu) returning to his childhood Washington, DC, neighborhood that has been changed beyond his recognition. The film is an intense, thought-provoking, evocative and emotional story of social dislocation and broken lives set against the backdrop of gentrification in the District of Columbia.
Following its world premiere at the 2020 Slamdance Film Festival, RESIDUE was honored with the festival’s Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature and the Acting Award for star Nwachukwu. RESIDUE also was awarded Special Mention at the 77th Venice International Film Festival’s Giornate degli Autori and won the John Cassavettes Award at the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The film was later acquired by Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY and is currently streaming on Netflix.
Gerima has also directed television episodes for The CW series “Naomi” and OWN Networks’s “Cherish the Day,” created and produced by DuVernay. Gerima He is currently in post on his first music video.
Gerima grew up immersed in film. Prior to attending USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (encouraged by mentor filmmaker Bradford Young), he spent his childhood on film sets and in editing room with his filmmaker parents – his father, legendary Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima, who influenced LA’s Rebellions film movement and won multiple international awards for his best-known films SANKOFA, ASHES AND EMBERS, TEZA; and his mother, Shirikiana Aina, an American film director, cinematographer, producer, and writer, who co-produced SANKOFA, and a co-founded Negod Gwad Productions, a nonprofit film company providing support for independent filmmakers.
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