Private Project

Lil' RED is RIDING the wrong way in the HOOD!

This short film with a long title is a Hip Hop twist on a classic cautionary tale starts with an adventurous little boy getting lost on the wrong side of town. Childhood labor and public safety may sound like heavy topics, but they're presented in an approachable manner in this timely and important project.

Lil' Red is Riding the Wrong Way in the Hood is not just an entertaining animated film set to a Hip Hop beat; it's a conversation starter for all ages. It allows us a chance to reflect on who to trust and when, and how to stay safe in an unpredictable world.

  • Venus Jones
  • Venus Jones
  • Venus Jones
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 30, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Kenya, United States
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Venus Jones

Venus Jones is a Renaissance woman and has served as a TEDx speaker, actress, performance coach, spoken word artist, and award winning radio personality. She co-created a mobile app to push poetry and 7 principles with her husband Steve, and became a global Kwanzaa queen. She’s appeared in a Marvel movie, on the cover of Spoken Vizions magazines, a billboard, worked at two major television networks, and served as a Professor of English and Communication at Mission College. Her poetry has been featured in esteemed magazines, journals, and anthologies, and she's self-published four albums and three books, she's earned praise from Hip Hop legend Chuck D., shared the stage with Nikki Giovanni twice and was called “Langston Hughes in the form of a black girl” by Marjol Rush-Collette, the curator of the Langston Hughes Family Museum.

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Director Statement

As the founder and author of SHE ROSE, I've served as a multi-passionate artist including a spoken word poet, actress, and educator for over 20 years. My motto is waging peace through poetry. I believe the fastest way to increase empathy is through the healing arts. My work seeks to remind us of our common humanity and at times it challenges the status quo. What I know for sure is to increase peace we must align our thoughts, words, and actions. I seek to create art that challenges and/or comforts the viewer.

I'm in the business of inspiration and ultimately transformation. I've enjoyed collaborating with emerging and existing unsung heroes and sheroes among us. My life has been enriched because of divine grace, my humor, an ability to journal my thoughts, engage in monologue, dialogue, improvisational performance, and through the production of digital narrative art. My dream is this short will give birth to a novelty book for woke grandmas and equally alert grandchildren.

This animated short was made possible by sleepless nights and funding was provided by the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI). I envisioned this teaching tool over a year ago, created a grant proposal and CCI awarded the full amount.

I served as a professional voice over in the past, so I had fun narrating my own script. A more challenging aspect during pre-production was deciding on the best animator, sound engineer and graphic artist. Today I have an entertaining and educational short that is sure to be a catalyst for critical conversation.

Vanessa Russell is a local shero here in the San Francisco Bay Area helping to end human trafficking, and we had a chance to discuss this short with a long name, during her Love Never Fails podcast. Click here to listen:
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