Nikiea Redmond and Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander Discuss Their 10-Year Documentary with Anatomy of Wings | Slamdance 2021 [Exclusive Interview]

Nikiea Redmond
Nikiea Redmond and Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander directed Anatomy of Wings.

Anatomy of Wings is a ten-year journey for many participants in the documentary.

The film started off as a small film project for young children ended to be a coming-of-age documentary of ten young girls for half their lives under a mentorship program in Baltimore.

Here’s the synopsis:

At first, gathered to create an after-school film project, ten Black middle school girls return each week to collaborate with their Black and white mentors on a feature-length documentary about their own coming-of-age in Baltimore City. Weeks turn into years. Then, shortly before the girls’ high school graduation, a sea of misunderstanding arises about what’s to come. The self-defined second family is left to question if their solidarity will survive the realities of living in a world of racial inequity.

It all started out at Dunbar Middle School, where mentors Nikiea Redmond and Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander kickstarted an afternoon weekly program called “Wings.” Initially created for young girls in middle school to learn about video skills, the formal curriculum quickly starts to fade away and the weekly meetings organically begin to shift towards discussing the vulnerabilities of the girls’ experiences. Through trust, mentorship, and leaps of faith, a deep bond is created with the girls that last the test of time. What was only intended to be a 10-week course ends turning into a 10+ year experience, where the girls are cinematographers with autonomy in framing how their stories are shared with the world.

The ten young women being mentored, included Brittany Backmon, Teshavionna “Tazz” Mitchell, Shelia Butler, Brienna Brown, Marquise Weems, Danisha Harris, Cami McCrief, Quandra Jones, Tywana Reid, and Quanisha Carmichael.  The Wings mentors included Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander, Jackie Duvall-Harvery, Jane Cottis, Nikiea Redmond, Kata Frederick, and Cinnamon Triano.

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LRM’s Gig Patta discussed with co-directors Nikiea Redmond and Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander regards to the 10-year documentary of their own lives.

Nikiea Redmond received her bachelor’s in corporate communications from the University of Baltimore in 2011. Redmond serves as a liaison for political organizations and community groups in East Baltimore. In 2004, she received the Sam Lacy Award for Youth Leadership from The Afro-American Newspaper. The following year, she was the 2015 recipient of the Black Wall Street Journal Award for her work in Baltimore City.

Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander is a full-time professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA, where she directs the MFA Filmmaking program. In 2008, she launched the “Wings Video Skills After School Program for Girls,” which lead to this documentary. In 2011, she was selected to the Independent Filmmaker Project Fellowship to launch her first feature-length documentary Us, Naked: Trixie & Monkey.

Anatomy of Wings documentary currently streams at the Slamdance Film Festival. Visit www.slamdance.com for ticket information.

Watch the exclusive interview below. Let us know what you think.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Raw Honey Films

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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