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Mary Rozzi captures the mesmerizing movements of Brooklyn dancer Poba, aka Shawn Theagene, as he performs to a soundtracked testimony of his gang life and salvation through dance.

  • Mary Rozzi
  • Mary Rozzi/Shawn Theagene
  • Jannie McInnes
  • Shawn Theagene
    Key Cast
  • Tom Green
    Director of Photography/Editor
  • Money Mark
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 15, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Mary Rozzi

Mary Rozzi is an American director and photographer based in Los Angeles and London. After graduating from Parsons School of Design, Rozzi gained an early foothold in fashion by assisting renowned photographers Satoshi Saikusa, Michel Comte, and David LaChapelle. She spent a decade in Paris, where she refined her visual point of view in collaborations in music, fashion and luxury.

In 2017, Rozzi created and launched The September Issues, a biannual publication of all women-contributors as a challenge to conventions in beauty and fashion with thought provoking politically and socially aware content.

Rozzi’s love of music and performance is seen in film projects for musical artists Feist (“Pleasure”, Look at What the Light Did Now) Lia Paris. Her short film “Poba,” for Nowness, is a portrait of street dance pioneer Shawn Théagene and mixes captivating VO recollections of gang life and salvation through dance.

Rozzi is fluent in French and Italian and is a fifth generation trained pyrotechnic in her family business.

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Director Statement

Watching Poba dance, I was super inspired by how deep he got into his character. His transformation was mesmerizing. I could feel Poba's past in his movement and facial expressions. I wanted to capture the way he has pushed through pain with this amazing storytelling device that he calls 'Bruk Up', a dance style that fuses Jamaican dancehall and hip hop.