Bruce Franks Jr and his son in a still from St Louis Superman.
Documentary short St. Louis Superman has been nominated for an Academy Award this year. The film has been helmed by Indian American duo Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra. The docu short revolves around Bruce Franks Jr who rose to prominence after being elected to the predominantly white and Republican Missouri House of Representatives.
What is St Louis Superman about?
St. Louis Superman revolves around Bruce Franks Jr who used his skills as an orator and rapper to fight for the rights of African Americans. He came to the fore after an unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown was shot by a white police officer in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Franks' activism and his participation threw him into the spotlight, and he ended up winning a seat in the state legislature of Missouri. The docu short also highlights the effort Franks put in to get the backing of a bill which bespoke of the disturbing level of gun violence.
Who is Bruce Franks Jr?
Bruce Franks Jr is a rapper and poet whose strong voice and sense of empathy for his people led him to politics. While speaking with Deadline, director Sami Khan said, "I don’t know if I have ever met a human being quite as remarkable as Bruce, who just contains the sheer amount of talent but also this life force, this energy where just greatness seems to surround him.”
Meet the directors
St Louis Superman has been helmed by Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra. The Indian-American directors are currently based in New York and Los Angeles, respectively. In an interview with The Hindu, director Smriti Mundhra said, "I come from an upper-middle-class background. Sami and I can’t pretend we have first-hand experience with the problems Bruce and a lot of people in his community deal with."