ONE SMALL STEP \ 13 mins \ United States

Dasani is a motivated 9-year-old student with dreams of becoming an astronaut. After finding out that her class is going on a field trip to the Science Museum to see the Endeavour Space Shuttle, Dasani starts counting down the days. This is the same shuttle that Dasani’s hero, Mae C. Jemison, the first African American astronaut to travel in space, was on. At home, Dasani juggles the responsibilities of being the oldest child in the family. After Dasani’s father was unjustifiably killed by a white police officer, her mother Chanel took on all financial responsibility as well as became an activist to stand up against what happened to her husband, forcing Dasani to become the second adult in the house. From making sure her little sister gets to school to her little brother is fed, Dasani takes her mother’s place. After Chanel doesn’t return from a rally one day, Dasani is forced to choose between going on her field trip or being with her siblings.


Shortlisted, Student Film Award - 2018 BAFTA; Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival; Special Jury Mention – 2019 Short of the Year; Annapolis Film Festival; The Wrap's Short Film Festival; Bluestocking Film Series; Sun Valley Film Festival; Sunscreen Film Festival; Bueu International Short Film Festival; Lago Film Festival; Jefferson State FLIXX FEST

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Aqsa Altaf

Aqsa Altaf is a writer/director based in Los Angeles, California. Being raised in Kuwait by Pakistani and Sri Lankan parents has given Aqsa a background and experiences that have molded her to tell stories about real people in real circumstances that show the audience a world never seen before and circumstances never experienced before. 

As a senior at USC School of Cinematic Arts, Aqsa worked on two thesis films, one as a director and the other as a writer. She has written, directed and produced many short films as well as interned at production companies like Annapurna Pictures, Plan B Entertainment, and The Kennedy/Marshall Company. She has also worked full time as an assistant to Jason Michael Berman (BIRTH OF A NATION) at Mandalay Pictures. Currently, she is devoting her time developing her next projects.

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