Barriers can be broken

‘GoFish’ explores an inter-cultural relationship following the 1991 Crown Heights Riots.

How many times have you had an incredible idea to only forget about it? Artists often jot down notes, create full scripts, or even songs to only forget about them while pursuing another venture.

Rummaging through documents, Crown Heights native Jamila Brown uncovered a forgotten short story, titled “GoFish,” that immediately captured her.

With a plan to bring the story to life, Brown sets out to take her words off the page and onto the screen.

According to Brown, “It wasn’t until I was going through papers and found it. I felt really passionate about making it come to life, because it was a story that I connected to.”

The 24-year-old set out to bring “GoFish” to life, working with a small team that felt and understood her passion.

The short-film was inspired by the 1991 Crown Heights Riots — race riots that occurred from Aug. 19 to Aug. 21 between African American residents and Orthodox Jews following the death of two Guyanese children accidentally hit by a car.

“Growing up in Crown Heights, hearing stories about the 1991 riots and having friends from different walks of life, whether it be culture or race — it is a narrative piece which has some elements of truth,” she explained.

The process to create the 16-minute short film may appear easy while watching the end product, but editing the scenes — scrapping some all together — proved to be Brown’s biggest challenge as a first-time director.

“There were times where it was hard for me to let go of scenes and times where I wanted to let them all go and start over. But I had a great editor who really helped me to accept the process,” she said.

The film follows two young girls, one an African American and the other Jewish, who are friends despite the violence and hatred occuring at the time between the two groups.

“One of the many goals for this film is to influence people to break those social barriers that they may have — if children can do it then we as adults can do it too, and that’s what I hope for audiences to take away from the film.”

“GoFish” has already started 2016 with a great start, taking part in the Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday event Jan. 2.

Moving forward, Brown has already set her sights on other projects and has entered the film into over 20 festivals, still awaiting verdict.

“We’re also teaming up with an educational developer to create curriculum based on the film in the near future. We believe that it would be a great teaching tool for children,” Brown said.

Follow “GoFish” Facebook page to find out where the next screening of the film would be.

Reach reporter Alley Olivier at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at aoliv[email protected] Follow Alley on Twitter @All3Y_B.

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