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Tree Shade
A film by Lisa Collins
1998, 29 minutes, Color/BW, 16mm/DVD
Order No. W00658
Shame and embarrassment propel Savannah, a gifted high school student, to embark on a journey through space and time to witness the prison convictions of her great-grandmother Etta Mae, her grand-aunt Olive, and her aunt Denise. The fanciful and chilling tales of a delightfully vain maid in the 1920s, a hopelessly depressed nanny in the 1950s, and a mother frustrated during the holiday season in the 1980s, help Savannah reconcile her feelings about her own past in this touching coming-of-age story. An imaginative, thoroughly engaging drama that speaks volumes about identity and self-worth, TREE SHADE will have special appeal to teenage viewers and delight audiences of all ages.


  • Sundance Film Festival
  • Avignon/New York Film Festival, Best American Short Film
  • New Works Festival, Polo Ralph Lauren AwNew Works Festival, Polo Ralph Lauren Award for Best Film and Filmmaker Magazine's Audience Choice Award
  • Mill Valley Film Festival
  • New York Women's Film Festival
  • Newport International Film Festival
  • Nantucket Film Festival
  • Student Academy Award
  • DGA Student Filmmaker Awards, Best African-American Student Filmmaker

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    "Lisa Collins' 'Tree Shade' ... boldly goes where few films dare to venture in her dizzying, genre-crossing, time-hopping trip through the lives of four generations of African American women."
    Mill Valley Festival Catalog

    "...features an unforgettable high-camp character called Nefertiti Claus who puts our more familiar childhood myths to shame."
    Andrea Meyer
    IndieWire Magazine

    'Tree Shade', a remarkable debut film by Lisa Collins shot entirely MOS, took the award for best American short...Three and a half years in the making, the completion of 'Tree Shade' is as much a story of triumph over adversity as the film itself...
    IndieWire Magazine

    "'Tree Shade' is a magical, imaginative trip through a family's past where images of reality and fantasy often become one. Lisa Collin's talent for characterization and storytelling is quite evident and truly a rare delight."
    Michelle Materre
    Media Consultant

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us