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      Talk to… Zinha creator of If Her World Ends

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      Zinha is a native New Yorker living in London.

      She has embarked on a career as a director shooting stories about race, reproduction, and the apocalypse through fictional and nonfictional narratives. Activist, academic and filmmaker, Zinha recently directed Mom, mom, I’m done, a 20-minute documentary about black women, the Black Lives Matter movement, and their potential motherhood (2022; Rhode Island Film Festival, Tallgrass Film Festival, and Barnes Film Festival); was selected as a youth jury for the Sheffield DocFest 2022; and named an AR Talent Artist 2022 for Sheffield DocFest and a Future of Film Fellow.

      if your world ends Combining 8mm and stop motion footage, this micro-documentary questions how the intimate need for reproductive justice is threatened by the recent restriction of abortion rights in the United States.

      Zinha – Creator of If Your World Ends

      Please introduce yourself…

      Hello everyone, my name is Zinha. I’m an Afrofuturist writer and director from Harlem, NY now living in London. I create stories that celebrate Black and Diaspora communities and their myriad lessons to the world on how to survive and find joy even in the most unimaginable of times. My films always look for threads of fun, courage, love and the joys of community building to guide us into the future.

      Because if your world ends?

      It felt a bit apocalyptic to me and many of my friends as we watched the United States make the shocking decision to strike down Roe v Wade and the constitutional protection for reproductive choice. And, as a black woman, I was also reflecting on how this political decision places undue burdens on the health of black women: we are already struggling given our country’s black maternal mortality crisis. But she wanted to honor, and she needed to draw strength from, the sometimes forgotten stories of black women and women of color as healers in the US and the world. So this film came from a moment of vulnerability and a genuine need to have a conversation with other women who are looking for radical hope.

      Tell us about your team…

      Since it was a micro-short, I had the rare experience of working on my own in cinematography and animation. But I had the opportunity to collaborate with my family members (that by now they have gotten used to me putting a camera in their face). They become my muses, just like the people of Harlem. Being able to film moments of life in Harlem, the backdrop of my childhood felt pretty special to bring to the screen.

      What is the story about if your world ends does it mean to you personally?

      if your world ends is a love letter to the black women in my life saying that “I see you and honor your strength to love, heal, and kinship, even when it seems like the world is working against you by trying to erase us from the narrative..” At a time that felt isolating to a lot of my friends, and where I felt far from them because I now work and live in London, this film was my act of caring, call it a creative embrace. And I would say that it is also an offering to the fact, to the true story, that our grandmothers and aunts had such immense knowledge about healing and caring. I think we can find that in ourselves and learn from them how to survive, even in difficult times.

      Tell us about a memorable moment from the idea to the final edit.

      This was my first time working with stop motion and animation, so I had a lot of”learn as you go” moments. I remember when my animation lined up perfectly on my aunt’s face after a few frustrating first tries… I got up from my desk and did a happy little dance.

      What scene best defines what you like about this project?

      There’s a very candid scene with a group of some of the most important women in my life laughing and eating together. They’re the people I make movies for and who encourage me along the way, so I loved that they had a cameo.

      Whats Next?

      I’m working on an interactive movie called Moon Mama wants you to dance that’s it about a goddess who came to earth to save humans and the galaxy through the power of music, black creativity, and the actual dance moves of our audience! It’s opening in the amazing new immersive technology building, Outernet London later this year, which I’m excited about. And also, I’m finishing up a few scripts, including one that reimagines a Cleopatra Jones bringing down the fossil fuel industry; There is nothing more fun than that!

      How do we keep up with you and your work?

      You can find me on Instagram at @emmazinha. Shoot me a message, always happy to connect and chat.

      Watch Zinha’s movie if your world ends at the BFI Future Film Festival – more information here


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