First Day Back is a short film that deals with a very current and unfortunately familiar issue, gun violence in schools. Written by female filmmaking duo Deshawn Plair and Sade Oyinade. The film takes a unique approach by dealing with the aftermath of a school shooting. So after all the thoughts and prayers, what now? What does their world look like?
In the film it’s the first day back at school for the faculty and students of Lincoln High School in Philadelphia, after a fight between two students from rival neighborhoods resulted in the death of a rising track star Xaivion Anderson.
Everyone is struggling to adjust to the new normal of metal detectors, clear backpacks, and security escorts. Superintendent Greene, a straight-laced administrator concerned about the district’s image and anxious for positive press, allows a local news crew to film the first day back, much to the dismay of the school’s leader, Principal Wallace. Focused on showing the school in the best light, she avoids problem areas, arranges interviews with top students and a pushes for a moment with resident hero, Mr. Harris, the teacher who attempted to break up the fatal argument and was injured in the process. But both the news crew and Superintendent Greene get much more than they bargained for when tempers flare and students reveal how they truly feel about the violence and their new way of life.
First Day Back was directed by Deshawn Plair and stars Loretta Devine, Aisha Hinds, Etienne Maurice, Cornelius Smith Jr., and Javicia Leslie. Cinematography by Kay Madsen. Co-Produced by Drexel University alum Mark Albini and Etienne Maurice. Co-Produced by Hampton University alum Miah Harris. Produced by Sade Oyinade. Executive Produced by Sheryl Lee Ralph-Hughes, Greg Jennings, and Malcolm Jenkins.