Naked Acts

Los Angeles Premiere of the 4K restoration, with director Bridgett M. Davis in person, in conversation with Maya S. Cade (Black Film Archive)

Saturday, April 6
2220 Arts + Archives

Director: Bridgett M. Davis

USA, 1996, 87 minutes, DCP

Beautiful aspiring actor Cicely has just landed her first major role, but there's a big problem: it requires a nude scene. Her mother was a Blaxploitation star known for her sex appeal, while Cicely is a survivor of sexual assault with life-long body image issues, all of which has left her with a strong aversion to disrobing in public. Now, with the support of her boyfriend Joel, she attempts to get past her fear.

Novelist and filmmaker Bridgett M. Davis originally self-distributed her first narrative feature, a remarkably layered and incisive exploration of Black female sexuality and identity that recalls the revelatory personal filmmaking of antecedents like Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground. Set in a detailed milieu of the NYC creative class – with evocative intrigues on independent film sets and in video stores – Naked Acts is a resonant and defiant tale of self-discovery. Arriving in a beautiful new restoration, it can now be appreciated as one of the key Black independent films of the ‘90s.

A Milestone / Kino Lorber release

Restored and remastered by Milestone Film and Lightbox Film Center at the University of the Arts Philadelphia from the negative held at the Indiana University Black Film Center & Archive, with support from Ron and Suzanne Naples. 

Starring: Jake-Ann Jones, Ron Cephas Jones, John McKie, Lee Dobson

Producer: Bridgett M. Davis