Jessica Lee

POV’s outreach and development coordinator Jessica Lee reports from a recent POV event.

Every year, POV partners with many organizations to offer hundreds of free film screenings. Unfortunately, we can’t personally attend most of those events because they’re held all over the country in places like Aberdeen, South Dakota, Helena, Montana and Rockland, Maine. Given that our office is based in New York City, we love it when the opportunity arises to check out one of our films in our very own neighborhood.

A couple of days ago, I got the chance to go to the Bronx Princess block party in Mullaly Park, right by Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. It was a beautiful, cool summer evening. Upon my entrance to the park, I immediately noticed something different — there were so many kids! Usually, it’s mostly adults who attend our events due to the content of our films, which often address some heavy topics. However, the minute I stepped inside Mullaly Park I saw young kids making fudge, getting their faces and hands painted, riding their bikes, drawing chalk pictures on the pavement and dancing to music by acts like Sierra Leonean artist Kewulay Kamara, West African funk band mamarazzi, and Ghanaian hip-hop artist Blitz the Ambassador from Brooklyn, who also wrote and performed the music for Bronx Princess.

While Bronx Princess does touch upon some serious issues like parent-child relationships, the immigrant experience and higher education, it’s also a fun movie, one that’s perfect for the entire family. The audience was laughing throughout the film, relating to both Rocky and her mom, Yaa. After the screening, Mark Rosenberg from Rooftop Films did a short Q&A with co-directors Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed, and Rocky Otoo, the subject of the film, herself. One audience member asked, “Do you feel like you really are a Bronx princess?” Without missing a beat, Rocky replied, “Yeah… I do!” Check out pictures from the party below, and follow Rocky’s reign in the Bronx and Ghana on September 22 at 10 PM on PBS.

Bronx Princess block party in Mullaly Park

The party took place at dusk in Mullaly Park


So many kids came to the party and got their hands and faces painted!

Musa Syeed, Rocky Otto and Yoni Brook at the Bronx Princess Block Party

The princess herself, Rocky Otoo (center), attended the party, along with filmmakers Musa Syeed (left) and Yoni Brook (right).

Blitz the Ambassador and his band at the Bronx Princess block party

Blitz the Ambassador and his band performed to the delight of the crowd.

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Jessica Lee was a former Outreach and Development Manager for POV.