Empowering Documentary, “I AM MORE THAN MY HAIR,” By Social Change Filmmaker, Alyscia Cunningham, To Debut at Leading African American Film Festival
The Silver Spring native’s inspiring documentary, which masterfully shows that beauty is more than skin deep, will debut at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series Oct. 29, 2020.
SILVER SPRING, MD — Not even a pandemic can stop the indie film industry’s continued interest in Alyscia Cunningham’s beautiful documentary, I AM MORE THAN MY HAIR. The Silver Spring native’s most recent film was recently chosen as an official selection by Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series — the first Academy qualifying film festival for narrative shorts devoted to women of color.
“That’s a big deal, considering the obvious inequity in the film industry, I’m honored to be selected in a festival that’s creating change,” Cunningham said.
Established in 1997, the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series is a two-day annual film festival founded by African Voices magazine and Long Island University’s media arts department, the Brooklyn campus. Since its inception, the festival has screened over 5,000 original films by women across the globe annually. This year, Cunningham’s film will be among them. This is the seventh film festival to showcase the filmmaker’s I AM MORE THAN MY HAIR. Past festivals to feature the film include: DC Black Film Festival, New York State International Film Fest, Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival, Mom Film Fest, A Show for Change Film Festival, and Revolution Me Film Festival.
“I’m excited and grateful that my film was chosen yet again,” Cunningham said. “As my film continues to be exposed to more people, I hope it helps change their perception of what true beauty really is. It’s certainly not what the mainstream media and beauty magazines would have you believe. That type of beauty is superficial. Real beauty comes from the heart.”
Cunningham’s I AM MORE THAN MY HAIR is an inspirational film that tells the stories of several brave women living with a common autoimmune condition known as alopecia, in which hair follicles are damaged by a misguided immune system. The filmmaker hopes her documentary changes the way people view female hair loss.
“I hope they walk away with a better understanding “alopecia” (the partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows) and the many reasons why a girl or woman may lose her hair,” Cunningham stressed. “It’s not always related to cancer. I also hope that viewers expand their definition of beauty beyond what has been pushed on us as the media’s standards.”
Cunningham’s film will be screened at the festival on Oct. 29 from 6:30 p.m. — 8 p.m. in a section called “Defining Beauty.” Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the filmmaker will attend the event virtually but looks forward to taking part in the festival, which runs from Oct. 24 — Nov. 17.
After the debut of her documentary at this month’s Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series, Cunningham has no plans to slow down. Her documentary is a candidate for two additional upcoming film festivals.
“I’ll know if my film made it by mid-December,” Cunningham said. “After that, I’ll work on distribution while starting on my next film, which is in the research and planning phase, with my media company, Her House Media.
Cunningham is also a recent grant award recipient of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Nat R. & Martha M. Knaster Charitable Trust and the Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund.
To learn more about the filmmaker and her latest project, visit: www.Alyscia.com.
ABOUT ALYSCIA CUNNINGHAM: Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Alyscia Cunningham is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, filmmaker and photographer with contributions to National Geographic, Discovery Channel, America Online and the Smithsonian Institution. After the success of Cunningham’s first book, FEMININE TRANSITIONS: A PHOTOGRAPHIC CELEBRATION OF NATURAL BEAUTY, she continues her contribution to social change with her new book and documentary film, I AM MORE THAN MY HAIR.
Alyscia Cunningham, filmmaker and author
PHONE: (301) 244–9658