Private Project

My Brother's Keeper

Set in 1850's Philadelphia, "My Brother's Keeper" follows a wealthy Black physician who must put his freedom at risk to shelter a runaway slave from a ruthless bounty hunter.

  • Isaiah Elisha Williams
  • Isaiah Elisha Williams
  • Isaiah Elisha Williams
  • Manya Goel
  • Van Dinh
  • Wilson Aina
    Key Cast
    "Moses Young"
  • Nanayaa Prempeh
    Key Cast
    "Eliza Young"
  • Jeffery Clarke
    Key Cast
    "James Warren"
  • Kevin Dorce
    Key Cast
  • Isaiah Elisha Williams
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes 56 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    17,000 USD
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED R3D
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Savannah College of Art and Design
Director Biography - Isaiah Elisha Williams

Isaiah is a young director & cinematographer from Columbus, Ohio. With his passion for filmmaking and peer education, he enjoys crafting beautiful images while sharing his knowledge with others. Through his films, Isaiah endeavors to craft visually engaging narratives that impact his audience by lifting up stories of the past to inspire people of the future.

Inspired by his favorite director/DP duo, Alejandro G. Iñárritu & Emmanuel Lubezki, Isaiah employs intimacy through proximity to envelop his audiences in the world of his characters. As a Director-DP, Isaiah leverages technical aspects of filmmaking to support his creative vision for each film.

Isaiah earned his bachelor's degree in film from Cleveland State University and his MFA from Savannah College of Art & Design - Atlanta. He is an advocate for peer mentorship and supports his film community by creating instructional content and acting as an educational resource for his filmmakers.

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Director Statement

"My Brother's Keeper" is a fictional narrative set during the Antebellum period that seeks to employ the experiences of those past to spur change in people of the future. Since high school, I have been fascinated by stories set around the American Civil War, the United States' more tumultuous period of internal conflict. Many filmmakers have explored the stories of the Civil War, famous runaway slaves, and White abolitionists. However, many of these stories fail to recognize the critical role of free African-Americans in the operation of the Underground Railroad and the profound risks they undertook by doing so. And though these films depict the transgressions of the past, their application to contemporary audiences is often underestimated. My mission through "My Brother's Keeper" is to challenge these precedents by crafting a historical narrative that not only portrays the sins of the past, but also reflects the shortcomings of society today. Additionally, I hope to offer a new perspective of 19th-Century African-Americans by depicting successful Black men and women; This is in contrast to the numerous images of enslavement and destitution often associated with African-Americans during the antebellum period.

I am particularly drawn to historical fiction narratives as they allow storytellers to explore a bygone era while crafting a story that represents the experiences of those past. Working within the parameters of a particular historical era offers a level of realism to a story that engages audiences, but still allows for a level of creative freedom. History is full of untold stories and perspectives that have the power to change who we are today. By embracing the past, we can learn from the successes and mistakes of our ancestors and secure a more prosperous future.

As a Black male filmmaker, I am naturally drawn to narratives that seek to elevate the stories of African-American people throughout history. But at the same time, I feel Black filmmakers are often restricted to producing so-called "Black films" designed to cater exclusively to Black audiences. Despite this sentiment, I continuously find myself being drawn to new untold stories of underrepresented and marginalized people. So through "My Brother's Keeper", I hope to expand the effects of this narrative beyond the confines of race by embracing the plight of all underprivileged people and the indifference of those who perpetuate their suffering through inaction.