Chloe x Halle on If They Ever Walk Behind the Director’s Chair and Executive Produce Kyra Peters and Sarah Jean Williams Films
Singer-actress superstars Chloe and Halle Bailey, aka Chloe x Halle, are working with Neutrogena Films and Ghetto Film School to release two films from the Neutrogena First Frame program.
The films are part of the collaboration between Neutrogena and Ghetto Film School, supporting emerging filmmakers of color. The sisters and singers served as mentors in the program, choose the first two films, Forward, directed by 20-year-old NYU Tisch School of the Arts student and Ghetto Film School alumnus Sarah Jean Williams, and If my voice sounded louder than my skindirected by 22-year-old Kyra Peters, also a Ghetto Film School alumnus and script coordinator at Moonbug Entertainment.
Forward follows “a black ballerina’s internal struggle with self-acceptance as she faces racism in a white-dominated art form,” according to the film’s description. Meanwhile, If my voice sounded louder than my skin uses 2D animation to tell “the allegorical story of a teenager who longs for a life where his skin no longer affects his daily life or the way others perceive him”. Through the use of animation, the story “follows him through the streets of the Bronx, trying to unite the voice of his community through music to rally against the divisive hatred against color.” Both films can be viewed now on Neutrogena’s YouTube channel.
Shadow and Act editor Trey Mangum spoke with the Bailey sisters about their involvement in the Neutrogena initiative.
“My sister and I were so inspired when we heard about this Neutrogena First Frame program because it is a recently introduced initiative by Neutrogena Studios that provides a platform for people from diverse backgrounds to tell their stories about the skin they’re in,” says Halle. “When we heard that, my sister and I said ‘Yes’ [because] it’s really important as black women to just talk about our black experience and creatively write our stories and let people hear them because it touches us so much and resonates with so many of us and helps us to accept the skin in which we are.
Chloe added that she felt the reason they chose the two films to represent the program was because the stories were personal to them.
“I think the reason [we chose] those two stories, it’s because there was an element to both stories that resonated with us,” she said. “They were so beautifully told and it was so creative, so out of the ordinary. beaten path, how they shared these stories. I’m so proud of these two beautiful young women.”
Both Halle and Chloe are in the acting world – not only are people set to see them back on TV as adults, but we also have Halle’s turn as Ariel in The little Mermaid to look forward to. It could only be a matter of time before they sit in the director’s chair themselves. They talked about how they felt about creating art for the consumption of viewers.
“I think as a creative when you start creating things… you really start to understand what you like and maybe also what people like,” Halle said. “But I’m definitely going for what my heart gravitates towards, and my sister… things like that, we just have to follow our instincts and see what happens. But stories so real and so close to home like these are so important and resonate with our community and are so important to have.”
As for whether they’ll ever direct a movie themselves, Chloe isn’t saying no to the idea.
“I don’t see why not,” she said. “As far as that goes, it’s completely these two beautiful young women who led the process with these films… You never know. My sister and I are so involved in our musical process that we produced all of our albums and projects that we did together, so you never know.”
Watch the full interview below.