1000% Me: Growing Up Mixed

Author: Newsroom

HBO Original documentary film 1000% ME: GROWING UP MIXED, directed by W. Kamau Bell (“United Shades of America”), debuts TUESDAY, MAY 2 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. The documentary film is produced in association with GET LIFTED Film Co.

“As a father of three mixed daughters, directing this film was a deeply personal and profound journey of discovery,” said Bell. “I wanted to create something lyrical and playful in a way that we don’t normally associate with these conversations, but is often the way they happen in my home. My hope is in sharing the stories of these dynamic young people, it will give audiences a window into their worlds and open the door for further dialogue around race, culture and identity. We all know that this entire country needs it.” 

W. Kamau Bell

Synopsis: Through compelling and insightful conversations, Emmy Award-winning producer, director, host, and comedian W. Kamau Bell explores the experiences of mixed kids and families in the San Francisco Bay Area. The film was inspired by Kamau and his wife Melissa’s desire to understand better what life is like for their mixed daughters, who are navigating identity issues in a world that often asks them to pick a side. With humor and heart, the film reveals the joys and complexities of growing up mixed in today’s America. 

Featured Participants:

  • Sami (10) and Juno (7), the eldest daughters of Kamau and Melissa Bell, are Black and white. Sami plays piano and looks up to Alicia Keys, and Juno will tell you why it’s the best to be a middle child.
  • Myles (11), whose parents are Black and Filipino-American, likes to play basketball and helps his Lola (grandmother in Tagalog) compete in a Filipino cook-off.
  • Presley (10), whose parents are White and Filipino-American, has her punk band and occasionally rides around San Francisco with her dad belting tunes from his Karaoke motorcycle.
  • Kanani (10), whose mom is white and whose dad is Indigenous and Latino, spends every summer with her dad’s tribe in Costa Rica.
  • Anisa (11), whose parents are Black and Pakistani-British, considers being Muslim as much a part of her “mix” as race.
  • Mila (10), whose parents are Chinese American and Black, is deeply thoughtful and speaks in the measured tones of a future world leader while her parents discuss the deeper implications of wearing mismatched socks.
  • Sumaya (7), whose parents are Guinean and Punjabi, has strong opinions about mangoes, dogs, and llamas.
  • Carter (13), Black and Latina, is Kamau’s goddaughter. Nola (13) is Carter’s best friend and is Black and White. They both have two moms but very different birth stories.
  • Kaylin (16) has two mixed parents. She’s part White, part Black, and part Korean and works hard to fund her love of shopping.
  • Additional subjects include siblings, parents, grandparents, other adults, and professionals invested in these issues. 

Credits: HBO Documentary Films with Get Lifted Film Co., presents 1000% ME: GROWING UP MIXED. Directed by W. Kamau Bell; produced by Kelly Rafferty; executive produced by W. Kamau Bell, Geraldine L. Porras, and Amy Schatz; For Get Lifted: executive producers Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius, John Legend; For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, and Sara Rodriguez. 

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