In the spring of 2016, life became too much for myself and others in the African American community. The latest round of murder-by-police had taken the lives of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two Black men. On Facebook Live we watched the life force leave Castile’s body while a mother and her four year old daughter looked on in delayed horror.
Over the next few weeks my friends, family, and I talked about our collective depression, our feelings of sheer hopelessness and despair. Yet there was nowhere to go with this. There was nothing we could do. Most of us couldn’t afford therapy, and I searched social media and news outlets for answers and relief. Nothing.
The Reservoir Series is a series of documentary shorts crafted to give African Americans coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with the trauma of being Black in America. It is one person’s story of overcoming in a 5-10 minute nuggets of time that anyone can access online. Each community across America will be responsible for creating their own stories so that it’s relevant for the issues and struggles in various locales. People will also have access to strategies that others are using to deal with the current state of affairs as a means for relief and hope.
The Reservoir is a lifeline and love song for my people and community who are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Lana Garland has worked as a writer/producer, director in television and film in the US and Europe. She has worked as a Senior Creative Director for BET and as a Writer/Producer for HBO and TV2 Denmark. In documentary film, she has worked in various positions on Bowling for Columbine, Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool, and Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives. Lana is a Telly Award winner, an IFP Gordon Parks screenwriting finalist, and a Fulbright Specialist, having taught at Makerere University in Uganda. She is the curator and filmmaker-in-residence of the Hayti Heritage Film Festival in Durham, NC.