In Person Festival returns January 25-29, 2023 




We invite you to watch Subjects of Desire on VOD at your leisure and view the conversation hosted by Shawna Myers, DBFF Film Programming Team with Jennifer Holness (Director), Carolyn West (Author, Educator and Expert on film subjects). and cast members Seraiah Nicole and Daeja Sutherland. This content will only be available in Texas from the beginning of the festival- January 27th until it ends on February 6th at 11:59pm. Only available in Texas




Subjects of Desire explores the cultural shift in North American beauty standards towards embracing Black female aesthetics and features while exposing the deliberate and often dangerous portrayals of Black women in the media.Told from the POV of women who aren’t afraid to challenge conventional beauty standards, the film is partially set at the 50th Anniversary of the Miss Black America Pageant, a beauty pageant that was created as a political protest.

Subjects of Desire is a culturally significant, provocative film that deconstructs what we understand about race and the power behind beauty.



Host: Shawna Myers- DBFF Film Programming Team

Guests: Jennifer Holness (Director),  Carolyn West (Author, Expert on film subjects) and Cast members Seraiah Nicole and Daeja Sutherland






Community Partners: 

UNT Black Film Club

Women In Film- Dallas

  Women in Film Dallas - HOME



Watch Subjects of Desire at #DBFF22
Purchase Ticket


Jennifer Holness (Director)

Bio: Jennifer brings a fresh, authentic perspective to telling powerful, thought-provoking stories.  Jen has worked as a documentary filmmaker for nearly 20 years.  She is the Executive Producer of Maya Annik Bedward feature doc, Black Zombie, that is in production with CBC’s Doc Channel. She was recently awarded the CMPA’s Indiescreen Established Producer of the year Award in recognition of her contribution to Canada’s film industry and her incredible career achievements. Jen has directed her first feature documentary, Subjects of Desire, about Black women and beauty that will have its world premiere at SXSW and it will air on TVO and Crave in Canada. Jen who is passionate about Black Canadian History (and redressing the lack of) is producing her first History Channel Series, BLK: An Origin Story.  She will serve as a series showrunner and a director with partner Sudz Sutherland.

Carolyn West (Author, Expert on film subjects)

Dr. Carolyn M. West is an award-winning international speaker, domestic violence/sexual assault expert, cultural sensitivity trainer, expert witness, and Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington. She has written more than 80 publications, including “Mammy, Sapphire, Jezebel, and the Bad Girls of Reality Television: Media Representations of Black women”. With more than three decades of experience, Dr. West is a nationally recognized scholar who investigates the psychological impact of media images on Black women. She is writer/producer of the upcoming documentary “Let Me Tell Ya’ll ‘Bout Black Chicks: Images of Black Women in Pornography,” a searing illustrated multimedia presentation that explores sexualized images of Black women in popular media.

Seraiah Nicole

Seraiah Nicole is a performer, activist & founder of Seraiah Nicole Creations, LLC. Her debut album “The Truth Is” is a combination of poetry, hip-hop, and soulful vocals that speak truth to power. This creative & performing artist delivers vitalizing vocals, powerful poetry & passionate interactive performances; all while organizing & capturing Philadelphia’s Black arts community with Light Open Mic & Serai’s Eyes.

Daeja Sutherland

Daeja is entering her first year at The New School. She is studying visual arts and creative writing, and hopes to work in animation or screenwriting. She is passionate about social justice work, especially issues surrounding BIPOC and queer youth. Daeja’s hobbies include reading novels and manga, watching movies, drawing, and practicing yoga. 


Watch Subjects of Desire at #DBFF22

Purchase Ticket

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