Earlier this year, Janelle Monae announced "A Beautiful Future," a two-year collaboration with Belvedere Vodka to support women filmmakers. "Goodnight," the first of four films in the series, makes its official debut on Monday. Written and directed by Megan Park, it's a tender but haunting vignette, set in a near-future when death is not the end of a relationship.
"Grown-ish" actor Francia Raisa Almendarez plays Emma, a woman who can't sleep the night before her wedding. Like many children, so, she calls her mother, and they chat the night away. Mom's advice is a comfort, but as their conversation comes to an end, Annie becomes sadder. In this world, the personalities and memories of loved ones are "preserved" after death, and Annie's mother is just a digital echo of a woman who's passed on, and who won't be at the wedding.
"Beyond the deep cord that Janelle has struck in culture, we and Janelle share a common mission to reveal the beauty in unexpected new voices," said Anu Rao, global director of communications and PR for Belvedere Vodka. "The goal is that we inspire and enrich lives with these stories, and that we contribute to creating a future of inclusiveness for new and different perspectives in the arts."
The remaining films will be directed by Janicza Bravo, Lacey Duke and Kirsten Lepore, who will each address the question: "What does a beautiful future look like to you?"