Oscar-Nominated 'St. Louis Superman' Set for Broadcast Premiere on MTV

Bruce Franks Jr. is the star of the Oscar-nominated short film. - DANIEL HILL
Bruce Franks Jr. is the star of the Oscar-nominated short film.

St. Louis Superman, the Oscar-nominated short film centered on activist, battle rapper and former state representative Bruce Franks Jr., will see its broadcast premiere on Monday. The 28-minute film will debut on MTV, MTV2 and VH1 at 8 p.m.

The short film, directed by Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra, has racked up plenty of accolades since it was released in February 2019. It won the special jury mention at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival; the jury prize for best documentary short at Big Sky Film Fest; the audience award for best short at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival; the audience award at AFI Docs; and it was deemed best local short by the St. Louis International Film Festival.

Then, you know, there's that whole Oscar nomination — kind of a big deal.

The film follows the efforts of Franks, who rose to prominence in the political arena after the killing of Ferguson teen Michael Brown in August 2014 and later won a seat as a state representative, as he attempts to affect change in his community.

The film sees Franks through his second attempt to pass House Concurrent Resolution 70, a bill that declared youth violence a public health epidemic. The bill was eventually passed unanimously in the state senate, more than a year after he introduced it. Franks, meanwhile, announced in May 2019 he was resigning from the legislature, citing mental health concerns.

Mundhra, one of the film's directors, told the RFT back in February that she was "shocked but not surprised" when she learned he had chosen to resign.

“We’re all in search of heroes, but it’s important to think about the sacrifices that are made by these people,” Mundhra said. “In order for Bruce to do the work that he did and be an effective leader, he had to tear open his wounds in the line of fire, literally and figuratively.”

“Your story is your superpower,” Franks told RFT at the time. “I want people to see the importance of being your authentic self and taking everything that comes with your story, the good with the bad, and using it to push forward, save lives and empower folks.”

Watch the trailer for the film below, and set your VCRs to record on Monday:

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About The Author

Daniel Hill

Daniel Hill is editor at large for the Riverfront Times and he demands to be taken seriously, despite all evidence to the contrary. Follow him on Twitter at @rftmusic.
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