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(2016) (US)

Screening Block H Grand Finale, Sat 4/22

The Big Chop follows 10 year old Kris on her natural hair journey of self love and acceptance. Once a die hard lover of her big afro, negative hints from her mom and teasing on the playground causes Kris to get a perm. She continues to perm her hair as an adult until one day she has had enough. She stands in the mirror, and does the ‘big chop.’ What follows after the chop is a pure emotional roller-coaster.

Official Website

Directed by Derek Dow

Written by Alisha Cowan

“Derek Dow is an award winning director and USC Master’s Program film graduate born in the Englewood community on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. Dow grew up in a single-parent home where most odds were stacked against him and conditions unfavorable. After graduating high school he continued his education at Chicago State University (CSU), where after his first semester, his major was cut, propelling him to reluctantly enroll in a Production class. Here is where he learned he held a passion for

writing, directing and filmmaking.

Since graduating from CSU, Dow has written and directed several works. His first full length film, Family Values won him the Audience Award at the Black Harvest Film Festival in 2007. Dow was also awarded the Irvin Kershner Fund for Documentary Filmmaking, helping to fund and screen his documentary Beyond the Sole, which shed light on the “sneakerhead” culture. The film has recently been licensed by Aspire TV and is being used as a teaching tool this summer through the Chicago Public Library and The

Gene Siskel Film Center. Most notably, Dow’s latest film, The Big Chop, was accepted into the American Black Film Festival HBO Short Film Competition where it screened with only four other films in Miami, Florida.

Also on Dow’s list of projects is the web series “Blackman Depressed,” listed on Buzzfeed as “Top 10 Black Web Series You Have to Watch.” He is currently working on Season 2. Currently, Dow is prepping for his next fully funded film, Growing Pains, which will be shot in his hometown of Chicago. The script placed second in the Hollyshorts screenwriting competition just last year. You can also catch Dow in a recurring role on the new Showtime series, “Roadies,” created by Cameron Crowe and executive produced by J.J. Abrams.”

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