About the DirectorSeptember 4, 2020 2022-03-06 2:14
About the Director
About the Director
Founder, CEO + Executive Producer
11 Stars Studios
My name is Sharee Silerio, and I’m a St. Louis-born, raised and based writer, director and producer focused on telling stories where Black women and girls exist as full human beings on screen and feel seen, heard, loved and affirmed beyond the screen.
My film and television credits include projects on cable and streaming platforms such as Netflix, Oxygen, Comedy Central, MTV, Prime Video and more. This film – “Black Girl, Bleu” – is a love letter from my heart.
After the unexpected passing of my favorite Uncle Nell, I knew that I wanted to be “okay”, which meant I was still able to go to work, do well in school and accomplish my goals. So I immediately put my “Strong Black Woman” mask on and went about the work of overflowing my plate with a part-time job, several freelance gigs, a film training program and more.
A year later, I found myself overwhelmed with grief, lost and depressed. Grasping for support, I had a chat with a friend, who told me “No one has a reason to be depressed,” “You’re ungrateful for being depressed” and “I don’t care what you’re going through.” As you can imagine, this left me feeling even more alone, misunderstood and hopeless.
I knew that I couldn’t be the only Black woman trying to be strong, dealing with mental health challenges and feeling shame because of them, so I decided to do two things.
First, I wrote, produced and directed this short documentary, “Black Girl, Bleu“, where five women – from a teacher to a community organizer and an entrepreneur – talk about their mental health journeys and how the “Strong Black Woman” stereotype has impacted and impacts their mental wellness.
Next, I created the Black Girl, Bleu community, a safe space for Black women to shed the “Strong Black Woman” mask, talk about their feelings and experiences, plus start and continue their mental health, wellness and healing journeys without shame, judgment, or fear.
From weekly wellness sessions to healing circles, workshops, support groups and therapy, the virtual community offers plenty of opportunities for Black women to do the deeper work of deconstructing stigma surrounding mental health, to show up as all of who they are, and connect with other women who get them.
My mission, vision and purpose for Black Girl, Bleu is to cultivate compassion and empathy so one less Black woman will suffer in silence; to help more Black woman realize and accept that they don’t always have to be strong and that it’s impossible to always be strong.
I want Black woman to see that it’s okay not to be okay; that they matter; their pain matters; and healing is possible.
To learn more about me and to view my body of work, visit shareesilerio.com.
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