NEW YORK, NY — Girls Write Now is thrilled to premiere “A Passenger’s Library,” an original short film directed by the filmmaker B. Monét in partnership with Level Forward, that brings to life and is inspired by a poem of the same name by Girls Write Now mentee and LaGuardia high school rising senior, Anaís Fernández. Anaís’ poem was born during the pandemic and nurtured through the Girls Write Now program. She wrote the piece while on the subway—taking it to school for the first time in over a year—and it is her love letter to the entirety of the NYC subway experience.
The film debuted at Girls Write Now’s 2021 Graduation: Journeys of Hope & Love an event to amplify and elevate today’s diverse voices. The poem is also featured in Girls Write Now Unmuted: The 2021 Anthology. These graduates, and their poems, are incredibly visual and proudly Made in NYC.
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“When I wrote ‘A Passenger’s Library’, the idea of my poem becoming the intimate, beautiful, cinematic piece of film that it is now was the furthest thing from my mind,” says Anaís on the making of the film. “When I learned my spur-of-the-moment poem could transfer to the screen, I had no idea what to expect. I needn’t have worried; making this film was an eight-hour crash course in acting on camera, directing behind the camera, and all the other insane components that go into filmmaking. It allowed me the unique experience of being at the cross-section of so many types of art—something I hope to carry with me as I continue to create.”
Of partnering with Girls Write Now, Level Forward says, “Our collaboration with Girls Write Now—a creative, supportive, and fierce organization—enabled Director B. Monét and Level Forward to produce a thoroughly made-in-NY short film bringing Anaís’ poem to life. We are proud to share it and continue our creative partnership with the abundant talent of Girls Write Now’s storytellers, ethnographers, and visionaries.”
As we enter into a new world, youth writing, creativity, and storytelling is more important than ever before. “Anaís’ work resonates with me because it’s real, raw, and poignant. She’s not afraid to captivate an audience by being a truthteller,” says B. Monét of “A Passenger’s Library”. “I love seeing her speak about the perils that plagued us as New Yorkers and humans during the pandemic. I appreciate her using her craft to uplift those around her. She’s a powerful young woman and I’m thankful I was able to be part of her journey. She’s well on her way to becoming an incredible writer and it’s great to see Girls Write Now creating a space for girls and young women to express themselves.”
Meet the Writer
Anaís Fernández is a second-year Girls Write Now mentee and a high school senior currently applying to college creative writing programs. When she is not writing poetry, prose or random snippets living in her head, she is making music, acting or reading. If she had to eat one thing for the rest of her life, it would be rice.
“If not for me—brown skin, spike-studded leather gloves, combat boots and sculptural woolen coat—this place could be 1963, still.”
– MENTOR & MENTEE ALUM KAT JAGAI