Private Project

I Live Here

In his first weekend of living in the place he’s always dreamed of, Stevie is excited to get out and explore the Bay Area. Before he can leave the house, he witnesses the drama of his two gay roommates as they insist he join them on their separate visits to places they each deem essential. During this day, Stevie is challenged to dismantle the misconceptions he’s constructed about the places his roommates adore which inevitably primes him to re-evaluate his place as a gay Black man. As the day progresses Stevie becomes curious about his roommates’ relationship and mistakenly heightens the tension between the two which leads to a troubling situation involving law enforcement.

  • Shane Watson
  • Shane Watson
  • Shane Watson
  • Scott Marlowe
    Key Cast
  • Sampson McCormick
    Key Cast
  • Stephen Wilson
    Key Cast
  • Cyrus Yoshi Tabar
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, LGBT
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 5, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    3,737 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - California College of the Arts
  • 2017 Student Academy Awards

  • Indie Memphis
    United States
    November 3, 2017
    World Premiere
  • Flickerfest Short Film Festival
    January 20, 2018
    Australian Premiere
  • Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    June 21, 2018
    West Coast Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Damn These Heels LGBTQ Film Festival
    Salt Lake City
    United States
    July 22, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Baltimore International Black Film Festival
    United States
    October 6, 2018
    East Coast
    Best Narrative Short - Suspense
  • Black LGBT Film Festival
    United States
    September 1, 2018
  • SF Shorts: The San Francisco International Festival of Short Films
    San Francisco
    United States
    October 19, 2018
  • Twist: Seattle Queer Film Festival
    United States
    October 13, 2018
    Best Gay Short Film
  • Eau Queer Film Festival
    Eau Claire
    United States
    October 13, 2018
Director Biography - Shane Watson

Shane T. Watson is a Student Academy Award Nominated Filmmaker and Photographer based in the Bay Area. After taking one film course in the last semester of his undergraduate studies, Shane knew he wanted to make filmmaking his career. Shane’s films, with a lens on Black life, have screened internationally and won awards at multiple film festivals.

Shane's filmwork focuses on navigating through his racial and sexual identities and finding community within them. His personal experiences as a gay Black man influence his ideas and are noticeably present in his films. His graduate school thesis film, I Live Here, earned a Student Academy Award nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Since finishing I Live Here, Shane has worked as an Assistant Editor on feature documentaries and short films. He currently serves as the Chief of Business Development at Black X Film Festival. Shane’s current work includes a documentary about family & grief and his first narrative feature project. During the pandemic he created Project Teachers’ Lounge, a series highlighting educators working during the pandemic.

Shane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Commerce and Business from Rhodes College (2014) and a Master of Fine Arts in Film from California College of the Arts (2017).

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Trust. Truth. Honest. When I think about filmmaking these are the first words that come to mind. I aspire for my films to express a feeling of authenticity by creating the sense of a relationship between my main character and the audience. I envision my work to feel as though someone is letting the viewer in on a secret that is not actually a secret, just a story that is hidden behind the white faces that crowd the screen.

I stand to create films that speak on issues of homosexuality in the Black community and other issues pertinent to the Black experience that create a space for understanding our lives without alienating the viewer. Gay, Black men need to see themselves presented in a multitude of ways just like white men are.

I create my stories in the realities of actual people. Through my films I hope to expose young gay black men to people with whom they can identify. I want them to know it is okay to be gay and black, regardless of what family members or religious leaders say. From mine and others’ experiences in southern states, families have responded negatively to black men revealing they are gay. Many in the black community in the south see homosexuality as a proverbial death sentence; HIV/AIDS, lack of companionship, loneliness, violence, etc. because that’s what they’ve been taught.

By presenting the Black gay experience as more than one dimensional, the idea is to dismantle this notion that being gay is wrong, end the bias against feminine gay men, and eradicate the divide between gay and straight people within the Black community.

Filmmaking in this manner is a therapeutic method of becoming okay with myself. Though I may seem okay with myself outwardly, being in a different geographical location plays a lot into that. My aim is to reach people in Middle America, the Midwest, Delta, Bayou; cities running down the Mighty Mississippi River; the places that hold more close-minded values.

It is my belief that visibility is key. When you see someone who looks like you, it helps to reaffirm that your existence is accepted. I want to give young gay Black boys the experience of living in a place as accepting as California, without the cost. This is for those black boys in Middle America.