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Synopsis: While social distancing during a pandemic, Jakayla reluctantly embraces her ill sister’s request to create a list of ways to find joy during sorrow.



Run Time

15 minutes

Directed by

Breyionna Flowers

Director's Statement

“‘Smell the Trees’ is my exploration of the duality between the strength and vulnerability within Black women. While we are often characterized as being strong and independent, we are also still timid and sensitive. We have a breaking point. We cry. We show emotion beyond our interactions with men. We are more than the stereotypes that are thrust upon us. With Jakayla and Taniya both being Black women, it just wasn’t enough to think about the everyday issues of sisterhood. I had to explore the complexities of the existence of Black women in the United States, specifically in terms of higher education, racial disparities in the healthcare industry, micro-aggressions in the workplace, fighting the “mad Black woman” trope, etc. Now how do those things affect the sisters directly and indirectly while one is essentially fighting for her life? How do they keep the faith despite everything they’re going through? It was navigating their experiences as Black women as well as my own that informed most of the decisions that were made in the film. While I believe there is definitely a shared human experience in this film, there is also a certain experience that is exclusive to Black women and our joy and our sorrow and our humanity.” –Breyionna Flowers – Director, Smell the Trees

Production Year


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