Since the summer of 2015, Belmont senior Anu Asabi-Caleb has been developing the concept of her film “Getting Real About Race.”
On Nov. 2, Belmont students will finally be able to see the film she has been working on for more than a year.
The idea behind “Getting Real About Race” was to involve the students at Belmont in a conversation about race they are unfamiliar with and uneducated about.
“We have 80 percent white students at our school,” said Asabi-Caleb. “It’s targeted for the main audience of people that are unfamiliar with the subject matter of white privilege.”
At a predominantly white institution, Asabi-Caleb believes these conversations should be happening on campus and in academic settings.
“We talk about diversity on campus, but the real issue we have is not diversity, it’s race,” she said. “When we start saying race issues and how we eliminate those structural forms of racism that go on in our institution and other institutions, then I will take it seriously.”
At the beginning, Asabi-Caleb had the idea to make a film about being racially colorblind. Over the course of the year, however, it came to be about educating and informing people about race issues.
“I didn’t want to circle the film only being about that. So, we started really diving a little bit more into the educational forms of educating students about race and racism itself,” she said.
During the film’s production, Asabi-Caleb received questions from other Belmont students about what she was doing.
“They asked me a lot of questions, and some questions were just plain ignorant. I have nothing against ignorance. I love ignorance because it’s an opportunity to learn. What I can’t stand is stupidity: choosing not to learn,” she said.
Asabi-Caleb actually used many of the questions she recieved from students in the film. Her goal was to make sure the film addresses the real voices and questions Belmont students have. Asabi-Caleb wants the film to feel and sound like the students it addresses.
“The film is for them, it’s about them,” she said.
Although “Getting Real About Race” uses Belmont as an example, Asabi-Caleb made it clear it is not a film exclusively about Belmont.
“It’s really about using our school as an example and how our school can really work on educating students and making sure that the faculty and staff understand these things and are understanding of people of color on Belmont’s campus,” she said.
Asabi-Caleb’s intends for her film to be a learning tool for students.
“The film is to educate people, it’s to inform people, it’s to give people an idea,” Asabi-Caleb said. “It’s supposed to encourage students. It’s supposed to give them an opportunity to ask questions.”
“Getting Real About Race” will premiere at a convocation on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. in the Johnson Center’s large theater.
This article was written by Emily Allen. Image courtesy of Anu Asabi-Caleb.