Betty was always fascinated by antique items, something the film does a great job in highlighting, but she never anticipated how far it would grow. I had the pleasure of speaking with Rasheed. It was interesting to me that a young filmmaker would have an interest in doing a film around an antique store. I asked him what attracted him to Betty and antiques.
“I was on a day of looking for furniture…there was an antique store across from the train in Rogers Park where I lived. And that turned out to be Betty’s store.”
Betty’s store is solely operated by her with occasional help from her grandson. This made the perfect match as Rasheed likes to keep a certain level of intimacy in his storytelling.
“She’s the only one who runs it so it was important for me to be respectful of that…I went very bare bones. It was just me and a camera.”
After watching the film the first time certain elements stood out immediately. The subtle tones, imagery, and overall character arc were established and great to see. But it wasn’t until I went back and watched it a few more times that I began to understand the different layers of the film; its simplicity yet beauty.
I started to think of the items that mean the most to me. I recently moved and there were things that most people couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t part with. It’s the emotion, the experiences, the energy, and that’s what Betty looks to maintain. It’s not easy to capture that in a short with a limited budget which we chatted about.
“I feel like it’s so easy to become discouraged…I think I’ve developed a higher value and appreciation for independent cinema and independent work.”
Rasheed’s journey hasn’t been easy but he’s been open, vulnerable, and honest. We spent some time speaking about his humble beginnings.
“I grew up in Jamaica and I had two amazing black women who are my grandmas, who are just like experts, storytellers…I think that’s where I really learned the power of storytelling and the power of a story.”
Lakeside’s Treasure is more than a story about an antique store, it’s about people and community. It’s love and unity, embracing the future but not throwing away the past.
It looks like Rashed has a great future in front of him but he will continue to honor his past. His next project reflects just that.
“So I’m developing a project right now that’s called A Number, and it’s basically a story that seeks to highlight the untold narratives of immigrants and people seeking immigration benefits in the United States.”
I’m excited to see what will be.
Lakeside’s Treasure recently premiered on AfroPoP. You can learn more about Betty and her journey by viewing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKt-h_TA3R8