Simmer is a 15-minute narrative drama concerning a young, black high school student named Carter Williams. The film weaves us in and out of a subconscious space where Carter processes suppressed emotions triggered by events and relationships in the real world. Although his English teacher pushes him to get involved in a poetry showcase and develop his talents, a racist bully and avoidant father operates against him. Over the course of the story, the conflict blends both real and imagined spaces parallel to Carter’s evolution from repression to expression.

  • Joshua Afiriyie
  • Joshua Afiriyie
  • Mae Stokes
  • Max Yillah
    Key Cast
    "Carter Williams"
  • Emmanuel Elpenord
    Key Cast
    "Richard Williams"
  • Stephen Konnnovitch
    Key Cast
    "Anthony Parks "
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 13, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    4,200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Temple University
  • Temple University Senior Showcawse
    United States
    April 27, 2023
    Best Directing Selection, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Producing Selection
Director Biography - Joshua Afiriyie

Joshua Afiriyie is a writer and director currently residing in Philadelphia, PA. He is the co-founder of Babellion Studios, a media production company specializing in filmmaking and podcast production. He has produced a myriad of content under Babellion and under his own name while providing other students opportunities to showcase their talents. He is committed to telling challenging stories with a focus on social justice, social commentary, and meaningful discourse. He believes that art is a labor of the people and a reflection of the collective.

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Director Statement

High school had its moments, but I will always remember the cold, quiet violence of isolation. I could not escape my own othering. I became the target of numerous racially insensitive comments made by acquaintances, strangers, and “friends”. My identity was reduced to a joke. I learned to associate my worth with how I could “sell” my blackness. My value was placed in how well I could assimilate rather than differentiate. I taught myself to deny my truth and deny my pain. I traded honesty for passivity.
I feel no anger, no sadness, no bitterness–not anymore. I have forgiven everyone; myself, my past, my family. I have forgiven the ignorant and the blind. The passive and the overprotective. Those who failed and those who should have tried harder. In the tears I weep I realize I cannot forget that after feeling comes forgiveness.
This is why I wrote Simmer. You cannot forgive until you feel. The world of our emotions is a murky sea and we all get stuck. This is when human language fails us and we turn to movies and poems and songs and other beautiful things. Deep down we all want to feel something and we all want to know what it is that we feel. I don’t know what I feel at times. Then I know, and I realize I do not know. And it is so humbling. And there is no word in the English dictionary for what that feels like.
And so I make Simmer. I hope it makes you feel something.