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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Black Female Filmmaker Tackles Mental Health Stigma in Debut Psychological Thriller

Briana Cole

Atlanta, GA — Sigma Square Media, in association with JD Harvill, has announced the release of “Pseudo,” an independent film from writer-producer Briana Cole, directed by Herschel Grangent Jr.

“Pseudo” had its world premiere in Marietta, Georgia, in August of 2021. Now, following a series of limited screenings, in partnership with Dame Dash Studios and Homestead Entertainment, “Pseudo” is set to make its worldwide streaming release. The film is currently available on Fox Soul and will soon expand to TUBI and other platforms.

“Pseudo” tells the story of grieving attorney Malcolm Terrell, who has battled schizoaffective disorder since the loss of his mother. After taking steps to manage his hallucinations and depression—medicine, therapy, and an institutional intervention — he determines that he’s at last ready to get back into the dating game and find love. Then Maya comes into his life; a sexy woman Malcolm matches with online. But even with their electrifying chemistry, Malcolm suspects things aren’t what they seem. But is it his intuition talking — or a new wave of mental instability?

Filmed in Atlanta during the pandemic, “Pseudo” is the longtime passion project of a black female filmmaker in collaboration with committed black creatives and black entertainers working on a shoestring budget. The film examines online dating and the unique challenge that mental health issues pose for black men.

Cole began writing “Pseudo” as a solo film project, adapting her book of the same name. The project merged her passions for both writing and acting and quickly garnered widespread support from colleagues within the industry. Describing the film as “Gone Girl” meets “The Machinist,” Cole says, “The movie is a drama with elements of a psychological thriller and deals with universal themes such as love, loss, grief, and the stigma of mental health.”

As a piece of black culture entertainment adding to the larger conversation around mental health, director Herschel Grangent Jr. shares how the film resonates with him personally. “Many of our black men, myself included, were taught from an early age to stifle our emotions and mental reservations and never talk about or express them … because mental disability brings with it unwanted scrutiny, ridicule, and shame. We as black men are up against enough and therefore cannot accept anything that will place more negativity on us.”

Cole expresses the importance of encouraging Black female filmmakers. “For the longest time, women didn’t have a voice, and through my art, I hope to inspire others to shape their own narratives. I hope to continue making movies, writing books, and eventually start a scholarship for other young creatives.”

To learn more about “Pseudo,” visit the website at PseudoTheMovie.com or find the movie on Instagram and Facebook @PseudoTheMovie.

Also, learn more about Briana Cole, the film’s writer and producer, at BrianaNicole.com

For press inquiries, contact 678-770-0606 or brianacole520@gmail.com