amandla stenberg shares the short film she wrote, directed, shot, and edited to get into nyu

The poignant 20-minute short 'Blue Girls Burn Fast' touches on themes of friendship and identity (and includes a killer jab at Rachel Dolezal).

by Hannah Ongley
13 April 2016, 3:20pm

Amandla Sternberg's first viral film was the infamous "Don't Cash Crop My Cornrows," an unapologetic response to cultural appropriation and black identity — a short she casually created with a friend for their history class. Since then the actress has become one of the most exciting voices in the fight for racial equality, channeling her own struggles with identity and racism into projects ranging from poetry to films about the Black Lives Matter movement. In February she Instagram-announced that she'd be moving behind the camera, posting a selfie to her now-700k followers with the caption, "ur lookin at an NYU film student." Now she's shared the application film she wrote, directed, shot, and edited to get in. 

"I made it with my best friends (@bailey_wait assisted directed, @novemberskyys was the boom operator) with a DSLR camera and lots of love," she wrote on Instagram last night. "It's very personal to my heart. I hope you enjoy!"

The convention-shunning coming-of-age story follows a teenage girl named Andy as she navigates her foster home and friendships. Clocking in at just under 20 minutes, it's an emotional rollercoaster with some truly gorgeous views. Themes of identity are touched upon in ways, that are restrained, dramatic, culturally relevant, and snort-inducingly sharp. In one scene Andy hurls a Rachel Dolezal reference at her foster mom for attempting cornrows, in another she describes her white crush as "not a Mac Demarco fuckboy though — more like an Elliott Smith sadboy." Watch below.

VOTE for i-D at this year's WebbyAwards for Best Fashion And Beauty Website


Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Oliver Hadlee Pearch 

Amandla stenberg
blue girls burn fast