HITTING

Boogiee was a fifteen year-old girl when their mother found out they were kissing girls after school, and stabbed Boogiee. Now 21 and aging out of foster care in New York City, Boogiee is determined to become a world-famous break-dancer. But along the way, they realize they may have to sacrifice their dream to find a family and a home. Over seven years “Hitting” follows Boogiee’s gender journey and pursuit of a home, exploring what defines us, and our power to decide for ourselves.

  • Adrienne Collatos
    Director
    ANAS v. the GIANT
  • Adrienne Collatos
    Producer
    ANAS v. the GIANT; Who Killed Garrett Phillips?; The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion; What Happened, Miss Simone?
  • Karen K. H. Sim
    Producer
    Amend: The Fight for America; Who Killed Garrett Phillips?; The Fourth Estate
  • Zoe Blade
    Composer
    Contrapoints
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Drama, Romance, Family, LGBTQ+
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 12 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 17, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    186,050 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Adrienne Collatos

Adrienne Collatos is a documentary producer and director driven by the belief that film holds the power to teach empathy.  

Adrienne has contributed to the core production team of feature documentaries that have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Festival. Including, among others, Liz Garbus’s LOVE, MARILYN, (HBO), the Emmy Award winning, Peabody Award winning, Grammy- and Oscar-nominated film, WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE? (Netflix), A GOOD JOB: STORIES OF THE FDNY (HBO) and THE LAST LAUGH (ITVS).

As a Producer Adrienne has developed a unique expertise as a researcher and archivist. In 2016 she co-produced and archival produced NOTHING LEFT UNSAID: GLORIA VANDERBILT AND ANDERSON COOPER (HBO), executive produced by Anderson Cooper. Most recently she co-produced and archival produced the two-part true crime series WHO KILLED GARRETT PHILLIPS? (HBO), which required analyzing thousands of police documents, handwritten notes, and hours of surveillance video.

Adrienne has written and produced short digital documentaries for Al Gore's THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT, Condé Nast’s GLAMOUR MAGAZINE’S WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS, and Planned Parenthood’s website UNSTOPPABLE.

In 2018 Adrienne joined Tribeca Studios, an arm of the Tribeca Film Festival, where she supervised production on micro, short and feature documentaries with brand support. She helped to select and supervise the inaugural year of The Queen Collective and served as Consulting Producer on THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION (Netflix).

In 2019 Adrienne directed her first film, ANAS V. THE GIANT. The short documentary follows the court case of Anas Modamani, a Syrian refugee who brought Facebook to court in Germany for refusing to moderate fake news about him – the first named individual to do so at the time. The film had its world premiere at SXSW 2019.

In 2015 Adrienne was selected as one of the inaugural six Impact Partners' Emerging Producer Fellows. She graduated from Harvard with a history thesis on the emergence of the video industry in Ghana. She mentors with Free Arts, NYC, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their pitbull, Leeloo.

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Director Statement

I believe deeply that the historically accepted white-driven status quo of our culture needs to be upset, and that storytelling is one of the strongest tools to do just that. I believe that it’s not just which stories we tell that can make a difference, but who tells them that has impact. And nevertheless, I am a white, financially stable, cisgender heterosexual female, making a documentary about a Black nonbinary person struggling with houselessness.

I began making this film seven years ago and I learned quickly that what I originally thought would be a short documentary film covering one aspect of my subject’s life - their dance career - could never be less than a feature documentary depicting the whole ‘them.’

I met Boogiee, a young gay woman, in 2014. Both of our careers were just beginning, and I was attracted to their story because I immediately saw their goals as admirable and courageous: to make a living as a street dancer in the heart of New York City. And yet I could not fathom how Boogiee might achieve it.

As Boogiee pursued dance they went completely broke, and their life predictably became less and less stable. I struggled with my role as documentarian, and friend. I knew I was standing at the intersection of two issues: if I urged Boogiee to find a new job (which would mean a different identity), I was delegitimizing their stated goals and worse – their personal agency. But if I accepted the hardships Boogiee was facing on account of their career, I was accepting a less ideal life for them. And I knew that Boogiee’s race and identity as a gay woman were at the heart of this contradiction. After all I was also an artist but I didn’t have to make the same painful choices as Boogiee. Yet as a filmmaker I did not see how I could acknowledge that without succumbing to ‘tragedy porn.’

Through our process and these seven years, I learned that Boogiee’s choices were not a matter of wrong or right - but an act of rebellion in and of themselves. As a storyteller I have learned firsthand that it’s the act of digesting a life or narrative into a story that can breed a simplified, stereotyped tale.

I wasn’t willing to give up on our film. What I could offer was the commitment of time. And that time proved me right. Over our years together Boogiee transitioned from gay woman to male, then to nonbinary. They left a biracial relationship in Brooklyn and moved to rural Texas with their white girlfriend. They started to earn money by investing in bitcoin and designing websites. Boogiee still teases me for my whiteness and I still question my instincts when it comes to filming with them.

Through our process and these seven years, I learned that Boogiee’s choices were neither wrong, nor right - but an act of rebellion in and of themselves. By the end of this film, Boogiee has been through the proverbial ringer. They have sought love and familial stability, only to find everything shatter around them for the second time in their life. But their work and sacrifices aren’t for nothing. Boogiee walks away from these experiences having succeeded at questioning a culture entrenched in white supremacy and forcing a right to their own direction and narrative.