ETTO is a short film I wrote at the end of 2021 and I’m truly in love with it. I wrote it because there is a demand for ghetto aesthetics and ingenuity but often the creators are erased while the “pseudo-innovators” write a new story with stolen culture. Will we ever talk to the ghetto girl about her dreams, desires, and hopes for her future? And if we do, what would we hear? Etto asks and answers this question. In this moment of advocating for Black representation, Black excellence, and Black equity in America, I want to make sure the ghetto girls have a chance to pull their seat up to the table and tell their story. I don’t want them left out. Why? Blackness is not a monolithic. Radical activism means radical representation. And representation should not be steeped in respectability politics within our [Black] communities. Etto is a narrative film that introduces us to this world and welcomes us to learn from it so that we can improve ours.
I am grateful to my talented cast, Daniela Griffin and Annsleigh Thornton, who brought this story to life. I’m grateful for the folks at Indie Memphis who awarded me the Women in Film grant to help bring this story into fruition. We finished filming in September 2022 and are excited for the world to see the magic we’ve made in 2023!
When looking for a better job, an unapologetically ghetto young Black woman has to choose between her “ghetto” peace and her “proper” paycheck.
Follow the journey on Instagram @ettogirls.