Violence, Innocence, and Film: The Teaneck International Film Festival Explores it All  


Daniel Maron, Staff Writer

This year the Teaneck International Film Festival hosted several films. The films covered a wide variety of social issues such as gender identity, race relations, and gun violence. One of the films featured was the drama, First Day Back, directed by Deshawn Plair, which chronicles what happens on an average school day after a tragedy relating to gun violence.  

The film was created primarily to create a discussion about the issues of gun violence.  

Director Deshawn Plair, himself, was shot in Philadelphia by a father and son duo while walking home late at night. This served as the primary inspiration for the events in the film.

Pilar uges that “As human beings we have to treat each other like human beings not like they’re less than.”

 Because of the subject matter, the film is funded by the Brady Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control and against gun violence, the films commentates on several issues on gun safety such as the security measures in the school in the film like see-through bookbags and guard escorts to go the bathroom. 

The talkback and the preview screening of the film was held at Teaneck High School, where it mainly discussed the making of the film as well as talking about addressing and avoiding instances of violence in the community. 

Sheryl Lee Ralph-Hughes, co-producer/actor and mother of Pliar, said “I hope you will be woken up to hear this. It is important that you make it.”

If you need help, seek help. Reach out to your parent, guidance counselor, the Forum, principal, dean, teacher, or a trusted adult.

The Teaneck International Film Festival also showcased several other films such Godfather of Brooklyn, The Last Suit, and Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles.