FOR AHKEEM WP, Screenings & Nomination at 67th Berlinale

31. Januar 2017: FOR AHKEEM: A story about a girl that never gives up


Nomination for the Glashütte Original Documentary Award

Directors: Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest, USA, 2017, 98 Minutes, Color, 5.1

 FOR AHKEEM (USA, 2017) is the coming-of- age story of an extraordinary young girl who never gives up as she strives to balance school, family, and trauma within the challenging world of being a Black teenager in America. This feature documentary by Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest will celebrate its world premiere at the section Forum of the Berlin International Film Festival and is nominated for the overall sections Glashütte Original Documentary Award. The prize will be presented during the official Award Ceremony in the Berlinale Palast. FOR AHKEEM is one of 16 documentaries that have been nominated for the Award.


Press screening: Friday, February 10th, 4 pm, CinemaxX 6

WORLD PREMIERE: Sunday, February 12th, 9.30pm, Delphi Filmpalast

Further screenings: Tuesday, February 14th, 7.30 pm, CinemaxX 4

Wednesday, February 15th, 12.30 pm, Arsenal 1

Friday, February 17th, 10.15 pm, Cubix 9

The directors Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest are available for interviews from February 10th till February 18th, the producers Nicholas Weissman and Iyabo Boyd are available from February 9th to February 15th.

Beginning one year before the fatal police shooting of a Black teenager in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, FOR AHKEEM is the coming-of-age story of Daje Shelton, a Black 17-year-old girl in North St. Louis. She fights for her future as she is placed in an alternative high school and navigates the marginalized neighborhoods, biased criminal justice policies and economic devastation that have set up many Black youth like her to fail.
After she is expelled from her public high school, a juvenile court judge sends Daje to the court-supervised Innovative Concept Academy, which offers her one last chance to earn a diploma. Over two years we watch as Daje struggles to maintain focus in school, attends the funerals of friends killed around her, falls in love with a classmate named Antonio, and navigates a loving-but-tumultuous relationship with her mother.
As Antonio is drawn into the criminal justice system and events in Ferguson just four miles from her home seize the national spotlight, Daje learns she is pregnant and must contend with the reality of raising a young Black boy.

Through Daje’s intimate coming of age story, FOR AHKEEM illuminates challenges that many Black teenagers face in America today, and witnesses the strength, resilience, and determination it takes to survive.

FOR AHKEEM is according to the Filmmaker Magazine one of the most anticipated films of 2017.

Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest are an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaking team. Their previous feature documentary, Good Fortune, about two Kenyans battling major foreign aid efforts that bring them more harm than benefit, was broadcast to millions of viewers in prime time on the PBS series POV. Good Fortune received a National Emmy Award in addition to awards for international reporting and promoting social justice from the Overseas Press Club, Fledgling Fund, and Witness. Their previous documentary Walking the Line, about vigilantes on the U.S.-Mexico border, was broadcast nationally in five countries and recognized with awards for production, reporting, and preserving human rights. The team also co-founded the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, a not-for-profit group of professional filmmakers who come together weekly for feedback and support.

FOR AHKEEM is a Weissman Studio production, Transient Pictures Film, in Co-Production with ITVS, funded by the Sundance Institute, Filmmaker Fund, IDA, Park Foundation, San Francisco Film Society, and NYSCA.