Two Atlanta filmmakers, who happen to be identical twin sisters, have proven themselves a holy duo with their film, “Honk For Jesus, Save Your Soul,” which premiered Sunday at the virtual Sundance Film Festival.
The Southern Baptist upbringing of writer-director Adamma Ebo and producer Adanne Ebo influenced the film, which follows pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) and his faithful wife Trinitie (Regina Hall) as they attempt to rebuild their congregation after a scandal rocks their Atlanta megachurch, Variety reported.
The satirical film plays heavily on praise miming, “a style of praise dance popular in some Black churches, where performers swap lyrical movement for miming and often wear mimes’ traditional white face makeup,” according to Variety.
“I don’t even remember when praise miming became a thing, but there was a particular point in time where everyone was [doing it],” Adanne told Variety, recalling their time as undergrads at Spelman College in Atlanta, where many of their classmates performed the dance style.
Adamma’s script was chosen for the 2019 Sundance Screenwriting Intensive and named to the 2019 Hit List. The film was shot last summer and finished principal photography one month after the sisters turned 30. A few months later, the sisters learned during a Zoom with Sundance organizers that the film had been selected for the festival’s 2022 lineup.
“They panned the computer around and there’s a roomful of 12 other people cheering and clapping for us — it was very sweet,” Adamma told Variety “The goal had been to hopefully make it to Sundance, but the way that it happened, we were just very surprised.”
The Ebo sisters were raised in Atlanta, graduating from Spelman College before Adamma went to UCLA for a master’s in directing and film production and Adanne pursued her law degree at Northwestern; the pair, who create under their Ejime Productions banner, now live in Los Angeles, according to Variety.