One Room. Two Men. One bold conversation.
The Baldwin Archives
October 8th, 2022
October 23rd, 2022
New York, USA
"A work of subtle power"
Directed by Laura Seay
In 1963, famed author James Baldwin sits with BBC journalist Peter Duval Smith as the legendary writer expresses his perception on the plight of racism in America, and the importance of compassion for your fellow human being
Official Selections: Festival Screenings
World Premiere: The Ignite Film Festival, June 29th, 2022
*Official Ignite Film Festival Nominee: Best Actor-Tory Devon Smith as "James Baldwin"
Hollyshorts Film Festival, August 15th, 2022
*Oscar-qualifying film festival
Reviews & Interviews
"Tory Devon Smith (who also wrote the screenplay) captures the cadence and spirit of Baldwin so effortlessly that if they ever make a feature or series about him, we have the best candidate right here."
Joey Moser of AwardsDaily
"A work of subtle power, that urges us to continue to heed his words, The Baldwin Archives is dedicated to “Jimmy”, and fittingly given the crux of the writer’s argument in the interview, it feels like a tribute to Baldwin the human, as much as Baldwin the great mind. It’s also a strong showcase for this creative team, particularly Tory Devon Smith’s considerable talents."
James Kleinmann of The Queer Review
"A 1963 BBC interview with James Baldwin, and conducted by Peter Duval Smith, is recreated in this polished and energising narrative short."
Ben Nicholson of The Film Verdict
"Audiences for this film will be cinematically teleported to 1963 where and when Baldwin and Peter Duval squared off. That space on that stage in THE BALDWIN ARCHIVES is the BBC broadcast in 1963. The verisimilitude is astonishing."
Greggory Morris of The Word
"Some films hand you their themes and issues on a platter while some let you contemplate and discover them on your own, but The Baldwin Archives is a great mix of both."
Filmmaker 5 with Tory Devon Smith
By Kami Spangenberg
Celebrity Spotlight: Tory Devon Smith
By Sammi Turano
Exploring the mind and life of James Baldwin is an exercise in humility. His bravery and tireless wielding of intellect against racism was unmatched. In my preparation for the shoot and rehearsal with Tory, I used the source BBC interview footage to track and plot Baldwin’s facial expressions throughout. Particularly at points of potential conflict. In this case, moments of confronting bigoted or ignorant questions from Peter Duval. I suspected this might reveal patterns in Baldwin’s communication tactics.
What revealed itself far exceeded that. What revealed itself were teaching tactics. Each time Baldwin fields a personal or bigoted question from Duval, he decides to teach rather than attack. When I realized this, I was overcome by the heroism of it.
Because it was not a shouting or violent revolution, his power. It was meticulous, incising, and astoundingly patient. Fielding ignorance and converting it to knowledge for the perpetrator is about the most selfless thing I can think of, and a deeply worthwhile story to tell.
visit lauraseay.com for more
James Baldwin (1924-1987) born and raised in Harlem, New York, became one of the most revered American writers of the 20th century. Through his work as an author, essayist, playwright, and cultural critic, Baldwin illuminated the world by unraveling complex social issues that, not only challenged the status quo, but revolutionized the voice of the Black perspective in America.
The Baldwin Archives pays homage to him and the great impression he left behind.
Tory Devon Smith
Kirk A. Moore
Eric E. Richardson
Tory Devon Smith
Sharon Scott Brooking
Jesse Abbott Chin
Director of Photography
Alex "Splice" Jones
Production & Costume Designer
Makeup & Hair styling
Julie Hassett & Kevin Haney
Production Sound Mixer
BTS Director of Photography