The story behind the film is as much a success as the film itself. Writer/director/producer/actor/ Nadhege Ptah was an actor before putting her career aside to devote herself to raising her three children. But her passion for film and storytelling never left her, and the story of Dodo Titi emerged in her mind. She completed the screenplay in early 2015 and plunged right in to raising funds for production. Ptah exceeded her fundraising goal through an Indiegogo campaign and reaching out to local business in her Harlem neighborhood. What began as a one-woman effort soon became a collective project as Ptah drew on friends and film colleagues, putting together a power-packed creative team. Dodo Titi was filmed in June, and in December 2015, just one year after its inception, was released at Harlems ImageNation. The private screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring renowned psychologist and media personality Dr. Jeff Gardere (relationship expert on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta and contributor on many TV shows including Today (NBC), Good Morning America (ABC), CBS This Morning, CNN, MSNBC, Nancy Grace (HLNtv.com), and TV One).
Dodo Titis post-production journey in 2016 yielded several festival screenings. It was an official selection for the Peoples Film Festival (New York), the Bronzelens Film Festival (Atlanta), and the Newark International Film Festival. Dodo Titi has also been selected for the Indie Wise Virtual Film Festival and was a semi-finalist in the San Francisco Black Film Festival. Ptah was awarded Best Actress for the film at the Peoples Film Festival and Rene Alberta was nominated for Best Director at the Newark International Film Festival. Dodo Titi has received attention from several media outlets including Di Riddim Sweet on CIN TV in New York City, Kreyolicious, the New Republic, and New York City Lens. It will be featured as part of Black History Month events at Mount Holyoke College in MA in February 2017.
DoDo TiTi provides the unique, and common, perspective of a foreign individual adapting to American customs while trying to preserve some of her own cultural inheritance, says Ptah. This short film highlights the lack of tolerance, struggles to overcome cultural indifferences, and historical clashes that unfold in America every single day.
Ptah comments on the story: DoDo TiTis central struggle unfolds when the Caribbean nanny engages in some of her cultural traditions in her bosss home. The ritual of brewing bush tea, among other activities, conflicts with the lives of the American family. But she works past the face of ignorance to show her boss how valuable, intelligent, and crucial she is to their lives. One of the most painful things the nanny endures is competing with the familys dog for respect. Confronted with having to move into the guesthouse during a storm, the prospect of her new living arrangements forces her to confront her fear of isolation and alienation. In an unexpected twist in the story, she ultimately wins the attention and empathy of her bosses, as she becomes the very thing they value most.
Dodo Titi was produced by Ptah in collaboration with her strong producing team and production staff: producing partner Michele Baldwin of Michele Baldwin Enterprises; co-producers Kathy Bayer and Annique Witdoeckt; and executive producers Scott Hopewell (actor and friend) and Guerlain Paul (NBA producer and childhood friend). The diverse staff included a professional film crew with director Rene Alberta and director of photography Snyder Derival