Episode 9: FROM STREETS TO SCREEN
Elegance Bratton is an award-winning and boundary-breaking director, writer and producer. He began making films as a US Marine after spending a
decade homeless on the streets of New York and has grown into one of the most trailblazing artists of his time.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community,
his work captures stories untold with honesty and verité. In 2021, Bratton won the Film Independent Truer Than Fiction Spirit Award which is presented
to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The recipient of this award also receives a significant
grant and becomes a Film Independent Fellow.
He was also included on IndieWire’s 2019 list of LGBT faces to watch His nonfiction feature debut, “PierKids” has played more than 50 film festivals worldwide and received praise for its raw and truthful portrayal of survival and self-preservation on the streets of New York City as seen through the eyes of three LGBTQ+ young people of color. It made its television and streaming debut in August 2021 on PBS/POV. Currently, production is underway on Bratton’s feature film directorial debut “The Inspection,” which he also wrote. The film is produced by 24, Gamechanger Films and Chester Algernal Gordon via Bratton and Gordon’s Freedom Principle. The film was selected as a part Film Independent Producers Lab and Fasttrack (2019).
Bratton and Gordon are in post-production on their documentary feature, “Hell Fighter: The James Reese Europe Story”, a co-production with Five Fifty Five Films that highlights the story of African American Jazz pioneer and music mogul, James Reese Europe, who was a lieutenant in the 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters. Europe started the first musical unions for African Americans in the United States, The Clef Club and The New Amsterdam Music Association Harlem. As a Black veteran himself, this story resonated heavily with Bratton and made for a uniquely familiar storytelling perspective.
He made his television debut as the creator and executive producer of the Viceland television series “My House.” The 10-episode
series was nominated in the category for Outstanding Documentary at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards. The series is currently available on Hulu. His short film, “Buck,” premiered domestically at Sundance 2020 and the London Film Festival (BFI) 2020. His short film debut, “Walk for Me” was the winner of the 2017 Mexico International Film Festival Gold Palm Award and is available on Amazon Prime Video. Bratton holds a BS from Columbia University (2014) and MFA from NYU Tisch Graduate Film (2019).