Private Project

The Baobab Tree

Synopsis: Friendship between a prideful yet lonely Baobab tree, and a 10-year-old boy, blossoms as the years go by. A century after the boy's passing, the tree meets the boy's great-great-grandson, forcing him to come to terms with his grief and the absence of his best friend.

Logline: A Baobab tree and a human become friends, but when the human dies, the tree must learn to accept and process his regret and grief.

  • Danielle Browne
    The Farmer and the Lightning Storm
  • Project Type:
    Screenplay, Short Script
  • Genres:
    Fantasy, Fiction, Animation, Family-Friendly
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Swahili
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • StoryMode Independent Short Film Awards
    Pueblo, Colorado
    June 16, 2022
    Best Short Script Award
  • Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition
    Nashville, Tennessee
    July 22, 2022
    Finalist - Short Scripts
  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival Screenplay Competition
    Providence, Rhode Island
    July 23, 2022
  • Cordillera International Film Festival Screenplay Competition
    Reno, Nevada
    June 29, 2022
    Finalist - Short Scripts
  • Hamilton Film Festival Screenplay Competition
    Hamilton, Ontario
    October 7, 2022
    Finalist -- Top 10
  • Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition
    Pittsburgh, PA
    October 14, 2022
  • Festival de Largos y Cortos de Santiago
    Santiago, Chile
    March 6, 2023
    Best Short Film Script
  • Baltimore Next Media WebFest
    Baltimore, MD
    November 16, 2023
    Short Film Screenplay Award
Writer Biography

Danielle Browne is a relatively new filmmaker and writer based in Silver Spring, MD. By day, she serves as a John R. Lewis Social Justice Fellow with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, engaging in impactful work. Her primary responsibilities include working alongside the House Agriculture Committee on Capitol Hill in order to take meaningful strides towards a more sustainable food system. Her aspiration is to help reshape the landscape of agricultural policy. All of Danielle's publications can be accessed on her LinkedIn profile.

Beyond her professional commitments, Danielle leans heavily into her creative passions, showcasing her talents through 2D animated works on her Youtube channel, Poetic Poison, which she created in 2019. Both her professional role and creative pursuits underscore her deep affection and dedication to uplifting the global Black community; through both policy initiatives as well as the arts.

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Writer Statement

The subject of death will always be a prevalent and, often difficult, topic as its impact is far reaching - across race, gender, age, and creed. The Baobab Tree is, at its core, a story meant to help others navigate their pain through a rhyming, fantastical tale. Readers are encouraged to project themselves onto Babu, who fluctuates through the stages of grief, and demonstrates how he manages his feelings in ways that are natural, familiar, and deeply human. The Baobab Tree also serves to emphasize the importance of friendship and community in our lives.

Similarly to my first short film "The Farmer and the Lightning Storm", I put emotions that are considered to be "undesirable" on full display in order to normalize our comfort and willingness to feel them openly. Additionally, I want to put forth more media with Black characters, into the world, in order to aid in the destigmatization of Black people displaying these same emotions.

When I started The Baobab Tree in 2020, I was moved to write a story about loss and grief after the death of my Uncle. To make matters worse, while continuing to draft The Baobab Tree in memory of him, I lost my Auntie LaVerne and my Great-Aunt Amanda not too long after in 2021. Following this, my father passed away on September 20th, 2023.

My family and I have been going through a whirlwind of immense pain and grief. I wanted to write a story that could capture that sense of grief we all know so well, display the beginnings of what healing looks like through leaning on community, as well as showcase what healing looks like for the Barabaig tribe and their cultural viewpoint on death [and even, by extension, a viewpoint that transcends the African Diaspora] -- not solely as a sad procession but as a celebration of life; to drink, dance, and be merry.