Directed by Elegance Bratton & Jovan James
Type of Project: Drama
Screenwriters: Elegance Bratton, Jovan James,
Producers: Chester Algernal, Elegance Bratton, Jovan James
Editor: Kristan William Sprague
Cinematographer: Zamarin Wahdat
Young Lynn opens the filmed with his mother nagging him to take his depression meds. He heads out expecting to have some fun with Richard his white lover. When he arrives to his boat he discovers that Richard’s invited a group of black men to join him. He invites Lynn into the bedroom with some of the other men at the party and offers him his first hit of a meth pipe, and places it to Lynn’s lips. The party’s doorman tosses a plastic trash bag and Lynn gets dressed outside in the cold on the pier. High out of his mind Lynn passes out on the street to be discovered by Harris. Harris without saying a word shovels him into the back of his vehicle. Lynn looks up out of his stupor and exclaims “I’m not going to fuck you.” Lynn sleeps in the bed while Harris smokes a cigarette and keeps a watchful eye over the young man. In the morning Lynn still doesn’t want to take his depression meds. Harris makes them each some breakfast and reveals that he has to take six times the medication everyday to avoid coming down with full blown AIDS. In that moment, Lynn realizes he isn’t alone and takes his medication. On the Baltimore pier Lynn takes in the sounds of the waking city extending his arms to the heavens.
Elegance began making films as a US Marine after a decade spent homeless. Today, he holds a BS from Columbia University (2014) and MFA from NYU Tisch Graduate Film (2019).
Walk For Me, his debut narrative short is about Han- nah, a young trans girl who’s secret life is discovered by her mother at a gay ball. The film played in over 100 festivals worldwide including winning Best Student Short at the New Hampshire (2016), Best LGBT Short at Anne Arbor Film Festival (2017), Best LGBT Short Columbus Film Festival (2017) and Best Short at the Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (2017) amongst many other awards.
His documentary feature Pier Kids, follows three queer and trans homeless youth on NYC’s iconic Christopher Street Pier to show the intricate ways queer people of color utilize public space to build chosen family. With Pier Kids, Elegance is the winner of Emerging Talent for Outfest 2019 and a Documentary Feature honor- able mention at the New Orleans Film Festival (2019). The film has played 14 Oscar qualifying festivals so far. The film makes its U.S. television premiere as a part of POV Slate 2021 on PBS. It is also a nominee for the Film Independent Spirit Awards for the Truer Than Fiction honor.
He is the executive producer/creator of Viceland’s GLAAD-nominated and Cannes MIPCOM winning series, MY HOUSE. The Inspection, his forthcoming feature narrative script is supported by Tribeca All Access and Film Independent Fast Track (2019). The Inspection is set for production in 2021 with full financing. He was a part of Sundance Talent Lab 2020. He is one of Indiewire’s 25 LBGT faces to watch (2019) and the winner of the Maynor Biggers Artist Fund grant (2018). Buck, his most recent short, is a Sundance 2020 World Premiere and is in development as tv series.
Jovan James is a filmmaker and photographer from Baltimore dedicated to showing the black experience with compassion and unflinching honesty. Starting from a young age with an interest in medicine and science, he independently discovered his love for film as a teenager. Jovan earned his BFA at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He started at NYU Tisch Grad Film in 2014 where he made his first short film, "The Jump Off", that explores the end of a relationship between two young gay black men, it had its film festival debut at UrbanWorld in New York City and has played at over twenty film festivals across North America.
His most recent short film, "Tadpole", which follows the possible beginning of a queer teenage romance, debuted at New Hampshire Film Festival 2018, where it was awarded Best Student Film, and has since played over a dozen festivals across the country. After graduating from Tisch Grad Film in May 2019, he relocated to Los Angeles and was selected as a fall intern at the coveted internship program at Bad Robot Productions. In January 2020, Jovan premiered his newest short film and NYU Grad thesis, “BUCK”, a dramatic thriller that follows a depressed Black gay man who finds peace in an unexpected place in the midst of a downward spiral, at the Sundance Film Festival. During the COVID-era, Jovan has continued on the virtual festival circuit, playing BFI London Film Festival, Durban International Film Festival, and Newfest Film Festival, where he was awarded with the Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Award. Jovan is currently working on several new projects, including his first feature film and development on a series adaptation of his short film, “BUCK”.