Palesa Lebona


Screens April 1 – Rutgers University Newark – Paul Robeson Student Center

Palesa Lebona, Director, 2016, 15m, U.S.A.

A 1960’s period piece set in Oakland California centred around a 12 year-old, dark-skinned girl who is torn between her own personal identity,  and seeking the love and affection from her light-skinned grandmother.

An African and South African Director/Producer/Writer who aims to provoke thought and drive dialogue about human issues that are ignored and overlooked. With her degrees in B.Comm Marketing Management, B.Comm Honors Logistics Management and an MFA in Filmmaking (Honors), she aims to transform the landscape of Film and Media in Africa into one which not only tells the stories of its people but is also profitable.

Director’s Statement

Living in the digital world we are bombarded with images of what it means to be beautiful and accepted in society. This in some cultures is seen through the tone of one’s skin (i.e. being light or fairer skinned) .It even translates across social class, where in some races the “fairer or lighter your skin is”, the more “worthy you are”. From feeling ugly to thinking that I wasn’t smart enough based on being classified as dark within the Black, South African Community as a child, I too have and continue to struggle with this inferiority complex myself as so do many others across the world from different races and cultures. Inspired by my own personal struggle as well as the story of my teacher’s grandfather who’s mother couldn’t accept him and truly show him love because of his dark skin, I decided to write the ‘CREAM’.