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Q&A: Ya’Ke Smith On His New Film, ‘Dawn’

by Stephen Becker 4 Feb 2015 8:30 AM
Exodus FIlms

Photos: Exodus Films

Maybe you caught Ya’ke Smith’s latest film, Dawn, at last year’s VideoFest or Lone Star Film Festival. But there’s good news if you didn’t: Dawn will air on HBO Zone East at 10:40 p.m. Thursday. You can also catch it on HBO Go.

yakeThe film is just 20 minutes long, but Smith makes the most of his time. Dawn tells the story of a woman recently released from prison. She’s got her head screwed on straight and is ready to make the most of life, but every place she turns for help leads to a closed door.

Smith stopped by KERA earlier this week to talk about his inspiration to make the film, namely, his sister and other people he’s known who’ve struggled with the same challenges as the title character.

“As a filmmaker, I feel like it’s my duty to create work that starts conversations,” he said. “A lot of the topics that I deal with are things that we, as a people, have the tendency to not want to talk about. We sweep them under the rug. And so for me, it’s about creating a work that gets people in seats and they’re confronted by these situations.”