By Cheryl DUNYE

13TH GEN - as PROD

Science-fiction - Pre-Production 2017

BLACK IS BLUE is the chilling erotic tale of BLACK, a homeless Black transman displaced by gentrification -- BLUE, an enabling wealthy Black transwoman who tries to save him and herself -- and LISON, her surprisingly elegant A.I. "friend-bot" who bears witness to their tragic love story.

    • Year of production
    • 2017
    • Genres
    • Science-fiction, LGBT, Thriller
    • Countries
    • USA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Cheryl DUNYE
    • Writer(s)
    • Christina ANDERSON, Cheryl DUNYE
    • Producer(s)
    • Marc SMOLOWITZ (13TH GEN)
    • Synopsis
    • - Directed by legendary Queer Filmmaker Cheryl Dunye
      - Produced by Veteran, Award-Winning Filmmaker Marc Smolowitz

      Oakland, CA - Circa 2020

      BLACK is a 30-something black FTM living out of his car while trying to land a job as programmer in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). He keeps a public confessional on YouTube and dreams of a better life, wants desperately to join with others who are enjoying the early 2020s tech boom that defines the vibrancy of life in the San Francisco Bay Area.

      BLUE is a 40-something black MTF who was once a successful tech executive at RoKan Robotics and transitioned after the dot com boom and bust of early 2000s. Back in the day RoKan bought Blue out, paying her handsomely to stay away but allowed her to keep ownership of prototypes for A.I. and robotics she had designed while working there.

      Today, she lives a lonely, mysterious life in an Oakland Victorian where Black’s car is parked. She watches him from the window, monitoring his moves while growing infatuated with him from afar. Her only companion is LISON, an android/friend-bot she designed, who observes and learns from Blue's life while offering intimacy and hope.

      When Black comes home beaten by a gang of aggressive butches, Blue takes him in and nurses him back to health. She says, “You are just like me. Your secrets are safe here.” They become fast friends sharing the same aspirations for their futures. One night they make love, and Blue promises to land Black any job in tech that he wants so he can move forward with his life. With this new relationship, Blue's faith in love is restored, and she begins to hatch a plan involving Black to get revenge against RoKan.

      With new confidence, Black begins to explore the Oakland tech world and meets ELLA, an attractive queer coder, who takes Black under her wing. Together, they attend Queer/Trans tech meetups, and Black starts to see the possibilities of a new community where he can work and thrive. Ella knows Black is FTM and likes him anyway. One night, they too, make love.

      At home, Blue becomes jealous of Black’s new circle of friends. As he tries perilously to keep his budding romance with Ella a secret, tensions boil to the surface. Lison helps negotiate their conflict only to discover that when betrayal is involved, no human being can be at their best.

      When lines are crossed and Blue questions Black's integrity, she follows Black one night and discovers that Ella is his lover. Caught in a web of deceit and confusion, Blue finds no way out but to kill Black and take her own life. In the end, Lison is the last one left "standing," unable to interpret the violence, wishing for a better way of life for all humans.
    • Partners & financing
    • Tribeca Film Institute (Script Development)
      Cheryl Dunye is currently represented by Echo Lake Management; Agency for the Performing Arts
    • Production schedule
    • Currently in pre-production, Marc Smolowitz is actively financing and packaging this feature film to be directed by Cheryl Dunye. 13th Gen aims to be in production by October 2017, with casting to be led by Aisha Coley and a 26-day shooting schedule set to unfold in Oakland, CA. A 113 page script is available for review. This project is the expansion of an award-winning 16 minute short film from the same team that has screened at 35 film festivals on 3 continents and won 5 top prizes.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Oct 02, 2017
    • End of shooting
    • Oct 27, 2017