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'BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez' - Feature Doc On Poet Currently In Production, Gets Funding Boost

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 11, 2012 at 12:15PM

Lots of good-looking documentaries on the horizon on some of our most cherished personalities, from Shola Lynch's upcoming Angela Davis project, to this one from directors Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater.
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Sonia Sanchez

Lots of good-looking documentaries on the horizon on some of our most cherished personalities, from Shola Lynch's upcoming Angela Davis project, to this one from directors Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater.

Appropriately-titled BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, the project, which is currently in production, focuses on the life of the 77-year-old poet (born Wilsonia Benita Driver)- her emergence as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, to civil rights activism, women’s liberation as a poet, playwright, teacher, activist and early champion of the spoken word.

In BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, a life unfolds in a documentary rich with readings and jazz-accompanied performances of Sanchez’s work [...] Despite her achievements, there is—as yet—no major film documenting her life and the impact of her work. Our documentary—the title is drawn from Sanchez's second book of poetry, We a BaddDDD People, which picks up on the street usage that subverts the word bad to mean good—will look at Sanchez as writer and at the groundbreaking artistic and political movements she embraced and influenced. At the heart of the film will be her performances: Her powerful "spoken word" reading style often segues into song or chant and can include instrumentation and spontaneous or choreographed dance.

Count me in!

The film was selected as 1 of 27 feature-length documentaries that will receive $490,000 in grant money from the Sundance Institute's 2012 Documentary Film Program and Fund (DFP).

No word on when we can expect to see the end product, but it's officially on my watch list, so stay tuned for future updates.

A teaser for the film is available; watch it below:


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