The Sleeping Negro

awarded with the FIPRESCI Award 2021

The winner in 2021 was the filmmaker, photographer and lecturer Skinner Myers. He was born in Michigan in 1980 and lives in Los Angeles. His short film ›Frank Embree won the Grand Jury Prize at the HollyShorts Film Festival in 2017. After ten short films, Myers made his feature debut with ›The Sleeping Negro‹.


Anger, alienation and everyday racism: a young African-American man falls into an existential crisis in the space of 24 hours – and meets his other self.

A nameless protagonist wanders restlessly through everyday life. Neither his black friend nor his white girlfriend want to recognize the racism he is constantly exposed to. Torn between his desire for peace and his rage at the system, the young man moves closer and closer to madness and soon encounters an eerie doppelganger.

Skinner Myers' feature-length debut recalls other psychological portraits of social misfits in US indie cinema, but shifts its uncompromising political analysis to center stage. Situated between visual essay and dialogue-rich chamber play, ›The Sleeping Negro‹ is an impressive deep dive into a state of mind. At the same time, it is the psychological study of a society that pretends to be color-blind and yet produces racism every day – also, and especially, in private relationships.

Country: USA

2021 | 73 min | English
Subtitles: German

Starring_ Skinner Myers, Nican Robinson, Rae Dawn Chong, David Fumero, Julie McNiven, Tunde Adebimpe Screenplay_ Skinner Myers Cinematography_ Matthew Halla, Tyler Purcell Producer_ Matt Palmieri, John Campbell, Alex Noel McCarthy, Dan Funes, Skinner Myers Rights_ JCInTime

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