The powerful and timely feature documentary film Don’t Be Nice, follows a New York City team of young African American, Afro-Hispanic, and queer slam poets as they fight to find the words to speak their truths to a nation awakening in Black Lives Matter protest and on the brink of a general election.
Challenged by their coaches to compete for the National Poetry Slam championship, the team breaks through personal boundaries and explores issues such as race, police violence, gender, identity, and sexual politics and creates its most vulnerable and honest work yet. Don’t Be Nice shows the risks artists take to find their voices, and the power those voices have to open hearts and minds. The documentary is available to stream on Amazon, Apple TV, and on demand now.
Directed by Max Powers and produced by Nikhil Melnechuk and Cora Atkinson, the doc qualified fort he 92nd Academy Awards for Best Documentary after successful limited theatrical runs in New York and Los Angeles. Don’t Be Nice first premiered at Toronto’s documentary festival, Hot Docs, made it’s U.S. debut at AFI Docs and went on to play at 27 other festivals around the world. The film picked up seven awards including “Best Documentary” at Macon Film Festival, Atlanta DocuFest, Vail Film Festival, and Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, the “Audience Favorite” at Roxbury International Film Festival, “Best Director” at River Bend Film Festival as well as the “Jim Ewing Young Director Award” at Port Townsend Film Festival. The film was honored with the “Best Social Issue Documentary” award at Film Threat’s Award This! 2020.
Cast: Lauren Whitehead, Ashley August, Sean DesVignes, Timothy DuWhite, Joël François, Noel Quiñones, Jon Sands, Caroline Sinclair, and Oiutayo Bosede