Sarah Jean Williams
En Avant highlights the internal struggle of a Black ballerina with self-acceptance as she faces racism in a white-dominated art form. It tells the story of one’s battle with self-love through black-and-white imagery. After being cast in the lead role of a professional ballet, Ragan is pressured by the ballet’s director to lighten her skin with make-up, in order to be consistent with the white dancers on stage. She reluctantly goes along with the request, but with each performance in the lighter make-up, she feels more degraded. When a young adoring fan tells her she wants to be just like her, the dancer cannot continue to perform feeling such shame.
Sarah Jean Williams (En Avant) is a 19 year old writer, actor, and director and a current undergraduate student at New York University. Sarah Jean was selected to be a member of Ghetto Film School (GFS), a nonprofit program founded in 2000 to educate, develop, and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers. While in the program Sarah won the Special Grand Jury Prize for her film, Never Grow Up, and directed Knight Into Day, as part of the GFS/Netflix collaboration for the Netflix Film Club.