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Indianapolis filmmaker showcases Black excellence

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

By Breanna Cooper

The cast and crew of “Brobot” on location as they filmed during the summer. (Courtesy Photo)

Indianapolis filmmaker Al Smith’s recent short film “Brobot” combines humor and science fiction to highlight the ingenuity of African Americans. 

“I wanted to highlight Black excellence,” Smith, 46, said. “’Brobot’ shows a Black inventor creating something excellent. It was created for humor, but I wanted to show that he had an advanced degree and was really, really smart. I also wanted to show a nuclear African American family.”

In “Brobot,” Smith and cowriter Darrell Morton tell the story of Jalen, a preteen whose father creates a quirky robot to act as a lie detector that seems to malfunction. The roughly seven-minute movie hooks viewers through relatable scenarios — such as sibling rivalry — to create a film the whole family can enjoy.


Smith, who has made five other films, created the film while juggling his responsibilities as a teacher.

“I normally have summers off, and that’s when the shooting usually takes place,” Smith said. “During fall or spring break, that’s normally the time I shoot, and I spend a lot of the school year writing and collaborating.”

Smith filmed “Brobot” in June and will host a virtual “red carpet” event Nov. 19. The film was shared through Purpix Media.

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