I started writing IIGWTMM (PLANES) two days after a Delta airliner dropped jet fuel on three southeast/south central elementary schools more than two years ago. i called cambio (our dp) the next day called susu (production/set designer) the following week and we began filming a month later. no studio funding. no fellowship money. no grant money. just love. a lot of love. and finessing funds from other projects to this one. and a lot of friends and family and community willing to make something beautiful together. Everyone in this film is a first-time actor portraying a version of a fictional life they already live around the imperial courts projects. This film is dedicated to the five uncles I lost to covid this year and to all the black and brown boys and girls who, like me, grew up under the lax flight path. It’s dedicated to the dreams we had every time we looked up and saw an airplane flying right above us, and the environmental atrocities that these beautiful complicated pieces of sky metal put us through every single day. I'm still that boy today - the one who went out on the porch every afternoon to watch the planes above our home. I'm still looking up now, reaching for worlds bigger than the ones I know.
Walter Thompson-Hernández is a Los Angeles-born and raised award-winning storyteller whose work seeks to meditate on ideas related to belonging in communities of colour throughout the United States and the world. After starting as a New York Times journalist travelling the globe, Walter made his seamless transition into filmmaking and began creating films recognized by the New Yorker, New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, Webby Awards, NAACP IMAGE AWARDS, and others. Walter’s recent work includes LA28: Surf x LA Olympics 2028, a poem about black surfers and the feeling water has as a place for liberation and life, and the short film If I Go Will They Miss Me, which won the Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.