Film about Black Rocky Mount brewer featured in Sundance Film Festival

Posted February 24, 2021 4:58 p.m. EST
Updated February 24, 2021 5:24 p.m. EST

— A Raleigh film about a Black woman running her own brewery and taproom in Rocky Mount was featured in the Sundance Film Festival.

Tinu Diver, a filmmaker and Raleigh attorney, says she hopes it raises awareness and exposes the history of craft beer.

"Beer brewing began in parts of the world that we’ve heard now referred to as (Eastern Africa) and it (was) done by women," Diver said. "A lot of that had to do sometimes with the quality of water, so part of how beer and fermentation evolved was just part of our human survival."

Diver is a first-generation American. Her parents are from Nigeria, and her grandmother brewed beer in a Nigerian village.

"The reason why this film is called ‘This Belongs To Us’ is that, you know, often there’s this narrative that we have to teach Black people about craft beer, or we have to somehow get Black people into breweries," she says, "But the fact is that this is something that’s ours."

"This Belongs To Us" examines the challenges of being a Black woman in an industry dominated by white men. It features Rocky Mount brewer Briana Brake, who runs Spaceway Brewing Taproom.

"I know that there are challenges that Black craft beer brewers have in pursuing this path that their white counterparts may not, whether that’s cultural expectations, whether that’s the kind of assumptions and stereotypes and just blatant racism that they experience from funders," Diver said.

Despite being featured at Sundance, the film’s production was paused because of the pandemic. Diver is still raising funds to complete the film and cover production costs. Donations can be made online.

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