He // Him // His
[ID: A black-and-white portrait of Elegance Bratton shot from a low angle. He wears a straight pink bob and brushes his hair. The background of the photo is blurred so that his face is fully in focus.]
2022 USA Fellow
This award was generously supported by the Ford Foundation.
Elegance Bratton is an award-winning director, writer, and producer. Bratton began making films as a US marine, after spending a decade homeless on the streets of New York, and has since grown into one of the most trailblazing artists of his time.
In 2021, he won Film Independent’s Truer than Fiction Spirit Award. He was also included on IndieWire’s 2019 list of LGBT faces to watch. His nonfiction feature debut, Pier Kids, has played more than fifty film festivals worldwide and received praise for its raw and truthful portrayal of survival and self-preservation through the eyes of three young LGBTQ+ people of color living on the streets of New York.
Currently, production is underway on his feature directorial debut, The Inspection, which he also wrote. He is in postproduction on Hell Fighter, a documentary coproduced with Five Fifty Five about jazz pioneer and music mogul James Reese Europe, a lieutenant in the 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters, who started the first musical unions for African Americans in the United States.
He made his TV debut as the creator and executive producer of Viceland’s My House, which was nominated for a 2019 GLAAD media Award for Outstanding Documentary. His short film Buck premiered in 2020 at Sundance and the BFI London film Festival. His short film debut, Walk for Me, was the winner of the Golden Palm Award at the 2017 Mexico International film Festival.
Bratton holds a BS from Columbia University (2014) and an MFA from the NYU Tisch Graduate film program (2019).
Portrait photo by Josiah Rundles.