STREAMING OPTIONS AVAILABLE NOW
PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE FOR DVDS
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Indie Memphis Film Festival | LOLA SHORTS AWARD NOMINEE - Philadelphia Latino Film Festival | HONORABLE MENTION JEAN ROUCH AWARD - Society for Visual Anthropology Media and Film FestivalMental Health & Suicide • Grief • Black Women's Friendship & Experiences • Spirituality & Healing
Date of Completion: 2023 | Run Time: 26 minutes | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Director: Elena Guzman | Producer: Cybee Bloss | Editor: Laura Menchaca Ruiz | Animators: Alex Aldrich Barrett, Pace Fjord, Nour Zein & Cybee Bloss
SMILE4KIME is an experimental documentary that explores the friendship between two women: Kime–a vibrant, unapologetic Black woman who lived with mental illness, and Elena–an Afro Puerto Rican woman and devoted friend coping with grief in the wake of Kime’s death. This story begins as a conversation between Kime and Elena unfolding across time and space. They ask each other about who they are, what they need, and what their future holds. As Kime’s mental health begins to spiral, the film urgently weaves together the past, present, and future in search of answers. Elena’s spiritual practice is a key element in the film, serving as the mechanism that transports Elena (and the viewer) through time and spiritual worlds. Rendered through animation, her altar operates as a portal between the present, the past, and unrealized futures. As we journey to the past, bright, warm, handheld footage depicts Kime and Elena early in their friendship. Here, Kime offers critical insight about her experiences as a Black woman with mental illness navigating the harmful institutions that were meant to support her. In the present, Elena exists in a quiet shadow space. She moves through grief after Kime’s passing, processing guilt and reflecting on the memories of her inability to support Kime when their friendship was “too much.” From this shadow space, a future emerges, rendered through animation and tied to Elena’s altar, a future where they continue to hold and make space for each other.