ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood contest winner Stefani Saintonge's short film "Seventh Grade" tells the story of two young Black girls navigating the tricky halls of middle school.
Last year, a slew of Hollywood tastemakers selected 26-year-old Stefani Saintonge as ESSENCE 's Black Women in Hollywood Short Film Contest winner, and now, her winning film is available online.
Seventh Grade tells the story of two Black girls discovering themselves while navigating a middle school environment.
"I can't describe what it means for me to share this story—a Black girls coming-of-age film—with a wider audience," she said. "Luckily, I'm working in the Internet age, which allows me the chance to bring this work to the masses and speak directly to my audience. After an amazing journey screening at festivals all over the country, it's time for this film to be in the public."
ESSENCE's annual film contest challenges Black women across the nation to produce a film exploring what it means to be a Black woman.
"When I was in middle school I remember...the stories that are out there for when men come of age [was] about them being interested in sex," she said last year. "For women, they become the sex objects. So I wanted to explore what that's like for women to deal with your body becoming a sex object. That's why it's really amazing."
Grab some popcorn and watch the movie here. Enjoy!