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New Orleans Filmmaker Wins Top Tribeca Film Festival Award

( – This is the latest installment of “Breaking Black,” a weekly column focused on emerging black talent.

Young filmmakers often generate a lot of buzz on the festival circuit, but Phillip Youmans makes them all look old. The New Orleans director made his Tribeca Film Festival premiere “Burning Cane” when he was still in high school, and now he’s a 19-year-old film student on the rise. Inspired by this childhood experiences in the Southern Baptist church — an institution he would later distance himself from — the film is a meditation on the church’s immense influence over its community. The quiet drama is a delicate dance for Youmans, as he works through his own complicated feelings about the differences he has with the God-fearing people who raised him.

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