St. Louis Superman, which runs 28 minutes, is nominated in the Documentary Short Film category for this year’s Academy Awards. Directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, the short looks at St. Louis democratic representative Bruce Franks Jr., who went from activist after the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO, to politician. Known as Superman to his constituents, he is a political figure unlike his predecesors, able to speak first hand about the epidemic of youth violence in the city after losing his own brother at the age of just nine.
According to the filmmakers, the project was mostly shot on a Canon C300 Mark I with vintage Nikkor prime lenses, helping to create a feeling of warmth and intimacy.
“Our main editor is the amazing Faisal Azam, with valuable additional work done by Jennifer Tiexiera, Armen Harootun, and Jaron Henrie-McCrea,” they note. “Our production budget was quite small, so as directors we also edited significant portions of the film on our own. The glue that held everything together was our co-producer extraordinaire, Cheyenne Tan.”
Ashley Ayarza at Nice Shoes handled color correction for the project, and Jonathan Miller stepped in to help with some shots that were swapped out after picture lock.
“Our frequent and talented collaborator Michael Gassert worked wonders in his studio with our final mix,” they add.