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Source: GFS Roster x Red Bull: ESTABLISHING SHOT


With the meteoric rise of recent filmmaking faves like Quinta Brunson, Issa Rae and Jordan Peele within the past five years alone, it’s easy to see how influential it can be when melanated faces take over Hollywood.

That’s why we’ll always be in adamant support of putting on the Spike Lees of tomorrow, and it seems like Red Bull feels the same way with the launch of their new initiative, ESTABLISHING SHOT.



RELATED: Black At Tribeca: 10 Most Promising Films By Black Voices At The 2023 Festival


Much like Desmond Levi Jackson, who directed the short film previewed above titled United In Grief, Red Bull selected a handful of filmmakers for the concurrent launch of Season 1 and Season 2 for ESTABLISHING SHOT that each could tell captivating stories from various cultural point of views. While the first season carried a more loose theme, the second season saw the artists in residency creating short films inspired by RB’s annual long-running “Dance Your Style” competition.

More on what to expect from ESTABLISHING SHOT so far, via Red Bull:

“Season one saw filmmakers following stories such as the DIY Philadelphia skate scene, a sci-fi trip through the history of breaking (also known as breakdancing), time-traveling through dance cultures across the world, the creative process of Red Bull Records artist Peter $un, and Red Bull Cliff Diving with athlete Ellie Smart.

In Season two, filmmakers explored the world of Red Bull Dance Your Style, documenting participating dancers and the history and culture of their chosen dance style. The Red Bull Dance Network/team exists to give dancers ‘wiiings’ and provide them with national and global opportunities to perform and compete.”

It all was made possible thanks to a collaboration with the long-running Ghetto Film School. Established back in 2000, the GFS Roster does its best to educate, develop and ultimately introduce the next generation of storytellers from our culture. Over 8,000 individuals between the ages of 14 to 34 can already attest to that.

Contestants from both seasons did their thing, and it was our pleasure to speak with Lexx Truss, Nico Swan and Sultan Ali from S1, in addition to Victoria Torres and the aforementioned Jackson from S2.

All content creators of color, we asked them to individually answer one simple question:

What inspires the journey of a creative of color in filmmaking, and how has working with a platform as big as Red Bull helped to elevate that vision on this project?





Keep scrolling to see how each of them answered the above question, and click here to watch both seasons of Ghetto Film School Roster x Red Bull ‘ESTABLISHING SHOT’:


Red Bull

Source: GFS Roster x Red Bull: ESTABLISHING SHOT


The post Exclusive: Ghetto Film School Talks Representing Filmmakers Of Color In Red Bull’s ‘Establishing Shot’ Program appeared first on Black America Web.

Exclusive: Ghetto Film School Talks Representing Filmmakers Of Color In Red Bull’s ‘Establishing Shot’ Program  was originally published on

1. Desmond Levi Jackson

Desmond Levi Jackson Source:GFS Roster x Red Bull: ESTABLISHING SHOT

“What inspired me the most with my short film ‘United in Grief’ was learning about Kid Nimbus’s journey with grief after the loss of his friend, Michael. After viewing Kid Nimbus’s 2022 dance performance to the Kendrick Lamar song of the same name, I was galvanized to explore my experience of losing loved ones and sought to capture Kid Nimbus and I’s experience onscreen by utilizing a unique horror metaphor. 

Red Bull really empowered me as a genre storyteller to make a project even I haven’t seen before. To portray a tale of grief in a unique horror-doc hybridized style makes me want to keep pushing the boundaries of storytelling and test my artistic limits in new ways. Making ‘United in Grief’ through the ESTABLISHING SHOT program is proof anything is possible as long as intentionality and heart are at the core of what I want to do. Overall, making this film has pushed me one step closer to that Jordan Peele threshold. I want to keep making films that shed light on the nuances of the Black experience and innovate the horror genre.”

2. Victoria Torres

Victoria Torres Source:GFS Roster x Red Bull: ESTABLISHING SHOT

“As a young Latina woman from The Bronx, I am deeply inspired by the diversity and creativity of the vogue and LGBTQ+ communities. Their stories have taught me to embrace my own unique identity and use it to create meaningful stories that are representative of the many diverse communities inside and beyond The Bronx.

As a filmmaker [with ‘On the Ledge’], being featured on such a large platform is an incredible honor. It not only allows me to share stories with a wider audience, but it also gives me the chance to show others that, despite our differences, our stories can still be seen, heard, and celebrated.”

3. Sultan Ali

Sultan Ali Source:GFS Roster x Red Bull: ESTABLISHING SHOT

“What inspired my film the most was my opportunity to create Black characters that fit into an original story. Directing ‘The Next Stop‘ helped create clarity for my rising journey!”

4. Lexx Truss

Lexx Truss Source:GFS Roster x Red Bull: ESTABLISHING SHOT

“The inspiration behind ‘$unny Daze: The Metamorphosis of a Single’ was naturally the subject of our documentary himself, Peter $un. $un, who we all call “Sunny,” is a charismatic, down-to-earth, loyal-to-the-soil Black man, musician and overall artist. However, behind all of that, he’s a human being that’s aiming to grow through life just like the rest of us. So, being able to naturally follow him and capture a slice of his life as he took on the challenge of finishing a song within a short period of time while volunteering to show us all vulnerable sides to him, such as painting on his down time and the overall process behind his creativity, simply inspired me as a Black creative myself. The inspiration I felt while getting to know Sunny and capturing his process guided me to crafting the piece so that many others can also be inspired and that the baton Sunny passed to me is also passed to the viewers of this project and so forth and so forth. 

You know, I’ve won awards before, including being declared the grand prize winner of the Emerge Filmmaking Lab through GFS years ago, and produced over dozens of videos for established media companies, such as ATTN:, but working with Red Bull has been a huge win for me as it is the largest brand I’ve worked with to date. It was such an amazing experience for my vision for this particular project to gain 100% trust from Red Bull Media House, Red Bull Records, Peter $un and his team. Even the opportunity to pitch this project was significant for me that it didn’t even matter if I was ultimately selected or not. I recall visiting back home in North Carolina when I did my virtual pitch in the summer of 2022 and as soon as it ended, I ran outside to where my mother was in the front yard and yelled under adrenaline and out of breath: “Ma, we ain’t in Kansas anymore; I just pitched to Red Bull.” 

5. Nico Swan

Nico Swan Source:GFS Roster x Red Bull: ESTABLISHING SHOT

“I loved being able to show an environment where people of color are able to just rock out to alternative music that really inspired me. A lot of the trauma-filled historic films are important, but I know A LOT of my people long to see Black people on-screen being themselves and having fun.

Getting a chance to shine on a big platform [with ‘Fly High DIY’] has been major, it has really inspired me to keep going and legitimize all my past efforts and failures. It’s also very interesting to my own personal story, because when I was 11 I wanted to be a professional skateboarder so bad; my first ever helmet had a Red Bull sticker on it! So, I really want to thank my vision board from 2011 for accidentally manifesting this opportunity for me. [Laughs]”