Director Biography – Kiah Clingman (EAVESDROPPING ON THE ELDERS)

Kiah Alexandria Clingman is a passionate content creator who merges her corporate skills with her creative talents. Her biggest accomplishment to date is producing a webseries, Outlandish, that has over 400,000 views on YouTube and was considered by Issa Rae Productions for Season 2 distribution/production. She is a 2020 Southern Producers Lab Fellow.

Director Statement

I’m almost in tears as I write this letter. I can’t believe it’s taken me almost 2 years to be brave enough to complete my first script. I’m okay with this process because this has been a journey and I am now in the perfect headspace and place in my life to execute what I started.

I’ve dealt with the hardest thing I’ve ever been through the past 5 years. My dad is dying of ALS and although I’ve tried more ways than one to escape the reality, I’ve realized the truth despite. My daddy, my best friend, is leaving me and I want to be able to say goodbye. I want to be able to give him a fraction of the love he’s given me these last 25 years. The best way I knew how to continue his legacy was by adapting an excerpt from his book into a short film entitled: Eavesdropping on the Elders.

This film is about a girl who is unknowingly challenged with the task of bridging the gap between two generations. With help from her father, she enters another world that confronts her with cultural lessons from the past.

If you research my dad on Google, you’ll see many websites say he is “the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people.” He has written 10 books (my favorite is Fathers and Daughters). He’s started multiple entrepreneurship high schools around the country and has helped thousands of minorities acquire work on contracts that would never have considered a “diversity” hire. As a firm believer in helping others and using his blessings to bless others, he has led a life of advocacy, initiative, and unwavering commitment to his belief in collective rather individual achievement and progress.

My dad continues his mission even though he is unable to walk, write, or move without heavy assistance. He still lives for his purpose: to empower others despite his weakness. His strengths and experiences have fueled my passion and have had an impact not only on my mom and me, but society as a whole.

But even with all of these accomplishments, to me, he is just my daddy. He’s the man who I couldn’t wait to jump into his arms after a long road trip. He’s the man who would continually bring my violin to school every time I forgot it. Not once did he miss a recital, a performance, a play, or a pageant. He’s always seen the best in me and he’s been there for me in my dark room when I was feeling alone and inadequate. He’s been the only person I know to really see me.

This film is not only for him, but it is for our people. I made it to inspire black people. To let us know we are on the right track and that our elders and our ancestors are here to guide us and lift us up They are here to teach us and to protect us. All we have to do is listen to their teachings and follow their lead.

-Kiah Alexandria Clingman

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