Screening Pics

We’re having  great run. Compiling some pics now for the new site, but here are a few from the Harlem screening and some of the flyers.















Harlem International Film Fest Screening on 9-18-16 at 6pm


Contact: Michelle Gipson

Contact: DaRelle Rollins

Director PHILL BRANCH tackles name discrimination with SEARCHING FOR SHANIQUA
HBO Best Documentary winner at the 2016 Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Fest to make its N.Y.C. debut

unspecified-12Harlem, NY (September 10, 2016) –  The Harlem International Film Festival will host the New York debut of SEARCHING FOR SHANIQUA at MIST Harlem on September 18th at 6pm. MIST Harlem is located at 46 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026.

Searching for Shaniqua examines the impact that unique, Afrocentric, Islamic and so-called “ghetto” names have on people’s lives. The film focuses on personal stories of several women and their relationships with their names. Scholars, teachers, corporate professionals also weigh in on the implications on having a name deemed “too black.”

Joining director PHILL BRANCH for the post-screening talkback will be cast members KHALIFAH SHABAZZ (City Attorney for East Orange, NJ) and SHANIQUA GOLDING (Writer, VIBE). Both have different and interesting perspectives on having names deemed to be “ghetto.”

The winner of the HBO Best Documentary Award at the 2016 Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, Searching for Shaniqua wowed the packed house and the Q&A lasted almost as long as the film. The film has also screened at the Bronzelens Festival (Atlanta) and is set to screen at the North Carolina Black Film Festival (Wilmington) this month.

Branch, an alumnus of the American Film Institute, was a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Fellow. He is a Lecturer in the English Department at Howard University and is a storyteller for D.C’s Story District. Prior to Howard, Phill served as an Assistant Professor of English at his undergraduate alma mater, Hampton University. A native of Newark, NJ, Phill currently lives in Baltimore.

Screening Date: September 18, 2016
Screening Time: 6pm
Screening Location: MIST Harlem
Admission: $13.50 or Festival Pass

This event is open to the public.

For additional information, please contact Michelle Gipson at (404) 755-4445 or DaRelle Rollins at (502) 594-0830

Website –



Mic –

The Root –

Baltimore Sun –


Centric TV – Shaniqua

Got a mention on Centric’s site. Pretty cool. Centric would be a great partner for this film. Moving forward.Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 8.30.04 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 8.33.30 PM

Shaniqua in Mic

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 7.58.02 PM


As a gay black male writer who is the foster parent to two little girls, Branch, creator of the PuNanny Diaries, is personally invested in understanding this cultural phenomenon. Through dozens of interviews with people with culturally stigmatized names across America, Branch aims to make people think about how race and class in particular figure in the societal stigmas attached to them in Searching for Shaniqua.


A Shaniqua shout out from @HomeGirlBlog

Click the link to read the full post!


Shaniqua Q&A with The Root

Teaser Trailer

Here’s a first look at what we’ve done. Please share and if you like what you see, support the film on our Indiegogo page.

Shifting the Conversation about Black Cinema