UAPB to host screening of short film produced by alumna

“The Beholder”, an award-winning short film about self-image and sibling rivalry will be screened at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in the L.A. Davis Student Union Lounge at 7 p.m. today.

The free, public event will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the director, Tenisha Allen, and cast members.

Allen is a writer, director and producer determined to leave a stamp on the entertainment industry as the “Gamechanger.” She received her bachelor of science degree from UAPB, where she began her comedy troupe, 3rd World Civilizers (3WC). Due to her collaboration with talented, gifted students who also believed in her vision, she was able to translate her alternative conscious comedy into sketches for web distribution. By challenging the negativity in the mainstream media that has informed the African American Experience, 3WC soon created some buzz with sketches such as “Black Girl’s Anthem” and rap parodies building a small but loyal fan base. Realizing film could be a medium to inspire, enlighten, and uplift, Tenisha is committed fully to the craft and The Beholder is her first short film.

“My mentor told me to remember that I have a voice and she encouraged me to make myself heard,” Allen said. “For me, “The Beholder” represents a merit badge for my maturation and the enduring self-consciousness of black women. Women all over the world still fight a silent war of the superiority complex based on light skin vs. dark skin. This African American holdover derived from the slavery experience is an unacceptable tactic of division amongst black women.”

“The Beholder” is a tale of two sisters with dreams of being in the limelight since their childhood. Both are also aspiring actresses dealing with the unfair treatment of black women in the industry — Summer, still learning to love her dark features, is not as successful as the lighter skinned Winter. They seem to have come to terms with their ideals of beauty until they meet a peculiar man, “the beholder,” who offers the sisters a chance to walk in each other’s shoes.

Alexis M Skinner, a theatre professor at UAPB, won the 2012 Arkansas Black Independent Film Festival Curtis Tate Actor Award for her role as Summer. The cast includes both UAPB students and current Pine Bluff residents — Lauren Akins, Bennu Ankh Re, Carlton Brewer, Danny Burl, Na’shall Castle, Marquies Carter, Marchello Eans, Winter Eans, Obafemi Karamoko, Kelsey Newman, Obum Nwankwo and Amirha Singleton.

“Beauty comes in all colors, shapes and sizes, so it cannot be labeled and boxed,” Allen said. “I challenge everyone to question their standard/ definition. Over the years, I have personally witnessed the self-hating discrimination and couldn’t give my sister the insight to be strong enough to know her own beauty, but hopefully this film will.”

For more information about the event, call 870-575-7061.