Samantha Knowles, 22, surrounded by the subject of her new 25-minute movie.
Sometimes, a doll is not just a doll. It’s a reminder of a child’s beauty and potential. No one understands that better than 22-year-old director Samantha Knowles, whose experience growing up as an African-American in a predominantly white community was the inspiration for her new documentary, “Why Do You Have Black Dolls?”
The 25-minute debut film about the significance of black dolls has been accepted at five film festivals and a trailer for “Why Do You Have Black Dolls” can be seen on Youtube.com.
“When I was 8, a white friend came over and innocently asked, ‘Why do you have black dolls?” remembers Knowles, who was raised in Warwick, N.Y., and now lives in Prospect Heights. “At the time, I obviously couldn’t really answer the question.” Fourteen years later, she can. Knowles, who initially made the film as her honors thesis at Dartmouth College, spent $6,000 and interviewed more than 20 dollmakers and historians, mostly in New York and Philadelphia.