Terrence Terrell and Anthony Hemingway team up for Skin Deep. It is an animated short about an adolescent Black boy navigating complex personal and social issues with an emphasis on colorism, mental health and self-love.
The film centers on Skylar, a Black boy from the rural South, who grows up in Los Angeles, California with his grandparents. Throughout the story, Skylar struggles to adjust to his unfamiliar surroundings. He is often bullied because of the shade of his skin, southern accent, and his striking features. While alone, Skylar crafts the perfect plan to wash his pain away. During this, he awakens to his true power and the responsibility that comes with being an African American boy in America.
Terrell wrote and will direct the Skin Deep short. Terrell currently has a Kickstarter campaign running to help bring this film into fruition.
“Growing up in rural Mississippi, I’ve had my share of colorism struggles that followed me into adulthood,” Terrell wrote in a statement on his Kickstarter. “In 2016, I authored my first children’s book, Blacky, which explores confronting colorism and bullying head-on and embracing the power of one’s unique self. For me, it was a therapeutic release; however, I could have never dreamed of the impact it would create.”
Anthony Hemingway will produce via Anthony Hemingway Productions. He joined the Skin Deep Team after seeing Terrell’s kickstarter.
“Deciding to support Terrence and his efforts with telling this story was not only an exciting choice but also a personal responsibility,” said Hemingway. “Black Americans are dying, and not just at the hands of the police. We are suffering from mental disorders.’
“As a kid growing up in the church, I was taught not to talk about my problems. Instead pray about them. But prayer without works is dead! What people should realize is behind every person, is an influence, teaching or shadows in which we struggle to escape. I have issues and traumatic experiences just like everyone else. As a filmmaker I’m constantly looking for opportunities to become the start or continuation of conversations that will help break the cycles and the silence. Skin deep amplifies the discussions of mental health with an emphasis on colorism and self-love.”
The animated studio behind Hair Love, 6 Point Harness, will also produce the Skin Deep animated short.
For more information and to donate to Terrell’s kickstarter campaign, click here.