Created by filmmakers Sofia Geld and Rebeca Huntt, BEBA is “hybrid-documentary” that tells chronicles Huntt’s upbringing as a Dominican woman, an Afro-Latina, an activist, and a New York native.
Huntt and Geld first met while attending Bard College, a liberal arts institution in New York. The pair managed to bond despite their differences — Geld is a white Brazilian from a wealthy family, while Huntt grew up in New York City’s “upper upper West Side.” They channeled their disparate upbringings into creating BEBA.
BEBA is a documentary that incorporates animation and certain cinematic elements to tell Huntt’s story and build a narrative.
In a traditional 3-act narrative structure, the film uses vérité documentary style, interviews, and animation, to trace Beba’s journey of self-empowerment as she contends with her racial identity while confronted by the rise and fall of a friendship with a wealthy white classmate and the suicide of a fellow activist of color in the times before, during, and after four years at an elite, majority-white, private college.
While speaking to ELLE about the project, Huntt stresses that BEBA — a film that takes its title from her family nickname, isn’t aiming to be a universal story, despite being created by a diverse team. Instead, the project is speaking directly to her experiences and taking the political climate head on.
“We keep talking about this notion about the personal versus the political,” says Huntt. “This film has a lot to do with the political climate and how it’s becoming increasingly violent, but it also has a lot to do with Sofia’s and my relationship. A coming-of-age story in this environment. One girl’s complex story, because Black women are complex and human.”
“I’m not quite as concerned about what people who aren’t of my background feel about this film, to be honest,” she adds. “This film is a celebration of Black life, in a time when we’re being dehumanized in these micro and macro ways—from seeing ourselves killed in broad daylight on camera to the first stages of the bill that would repeal Obamacare.”
BEBA is currently in the process of raising funds. You can watch a trailer below and support the project on Kickstarter.