Two Distant Strangers, the short-film created by Travon Free, is officially Oscar-nominated. On Monday (March 15), the Joey Bada$$-starring picture was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film. Next month, it will compete for the trophy against the category’s other contenders: Feeling Through, The Letter Room, The Present and White Eye.
Backed by Diddy, Jesse Williams, Adam McKay, Kevin Durant and many more, the nightmarish Two Distant Strangers confronts pressing themes of racism and police brutality while protagonist Carter James is forced to re-live a violent confrontation with police.
Free, who co-directed Two Distant Strangers with Martin Desmond Roe, reacted to the Oscars nomination on Twitter, writing, “So many tears. This is unreal. Thank you [The Academy].”
Joey, who was previously featured in the 2014 short film No Regrets, “Mr. Robot,” “Boomerang,” “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” and “grown-ish,” also celebrated the feat.
“I’m officially Oscar-nominated. That’s crazy,” he tweeted, adding, “Imma be A FUCKING EGOT.”
Speaking with REVOLT, Free said Two Distant Strangers was “born out of the repetition of seeing stories about Black people who were being killed by the police over and over again.”
“… Having to relive the outrage and the sadness and the grief, and then the acceptance of those events over and over again… one particular day it just kind of occurred to me… [What does that] look like on paper — on film?” he said.
“… One day it was George Floyd, then Ahmaud Arbery, then Breonna Taylor, then Casey Goodwin. Their deaths add to the other names we should not know who have become immortalized by hashtags as victims of racist police violence,” he continued.
“Carter’s continued fictional deaths mirror the violent ends faced by Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Elijah McClain and so many more,” he added. “These victims of police violence were also just living their regular lives before a normal day spiraled into a nightmare that they paid for with their lives, thus damaging communities and families forever.”