ada Studio began as a partnership between husband and wife team Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson with a mission: To create compelling visual stories that provoke thought about our multicultural world. The couple won a special jury prize for documentary filmmaking in 2013 for the groundbreaking story, American Promise.
The Changing Same, Rada Studio’s third project invited to the Sundance Festival is clearly in line with their mission. “Our work is an expression of our own personal mission to use visual storytelling to better understand our complicated experiences as Black people navigating American society.” Trying to balance family life with their artistic passions during the intervening years leading up to the creation of Rada Studio, Michèle and Joe created narrative films, documentaries, emerging media, and have authored books that challenge and inspire audiences across the world to think critically about their own place and roles in society. “We use the art form to explore our agency and ambivalence about the internalized nature of systemic racial oppression and question our own and our subjects’ relationship to that world. It is in those gray areas that art is created and where change can be affected and liberation reimagined for us as individuals as well as for our communities.”
The Brewster/Stephenson family process is obviously working. Sundance 2021 will also premiere another project, Traveling the Interstitium with Octavia Butler co-directed by their son, idris brewster.