Private Project

Chronicles of Black Pain

Nikki, an inspiring poet, day dreams about issues in the black community usually always at the wrong time, until she finds herself in a real issue.

  • Ashlei Sebastian
  • Ashlei Sebastian
  • Ashlei Sebastian
  • Ashlei Sebastian
    Key Cast
  • David
    Key Cast
    The Black Book
  • Cynthia
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Drama, musical
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 38 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ashlei Sebastian

Ashlei Sebastian, an Atlanta Native, started writing screenplays at the age of 14.
She studied the art of acting, singing and writing throughout grade school and
college.She’s worked for several record companies as an A&R and appeared in a few popular small screen shows. One night, she went through a situation that inspired her to write a poem. After that completing a series of poems about black struggles, she decided to make it a story around them. This is Ashlei's first time producing, directing and starring in a film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This film started with the idea of poems and making them into their own stories/mini music videos. However, I felt like they were so good, they needed a story to tie them together. And that's when it became a collective and "Chronicles of Black Pain". I knew the name of the film right away because the words were in the first poem I wrote for the film, "Heal Me". Its mixed with an African beat called "Nangape" that includes live instruments from composer Yaya Diallo, in which he made in the 80's. When I first heard the track, I knew I wanted it for the poem so I found a way to contact him immediately. FInding a location with the vision I had in mind for this poem was such a long process but I am satisfied with what we have. This film touches on some of the most prominent issues we discuss in the African American community. These issues include skin complexion, relationships, workplace environments, and marching. I wanted to make the lead character Nikki, a little naive. That plays into some of the discussions in the film. Just because she is the lead character doesn't mean the audience will always agree with her opinion on the issues discussed. The film is really about perspective in which we all have and one perspective comes back to bit her in the end. I do have one song in the film called M vs M, which stands for melanin vs melanin. Skin complexion issues still exist in the black community and it was so important for me to take about. This subject made me a little afraid but that fear also made me know that I had to be bold and do it. During the discussion of skin complexion, Nikki drifts off into a daydream and in that daydream, she goes back in time to the slavery days where the issue first started. I wanted the film to be artful and take the viewer to different lands and time periods. We film a beach scene and dance sequence for the end of the "Heal me" poem but it did not make the cut. I hope that the viewer feels and understands the poetry, creativity, and passion that we put in this project.