Ya’Ke Smith’s films are about the demons that haunt us. They address the struggles of addiction, homelessness, sexual abuse. In person, he is ebullient. Yet the drama “dawn.” may be his most personal film yet.
Smith based the short film on the troubles of his sister, who he says has been in and out of prison for over a decade. The movie opens on a character named Dawn who has recently been released. But over the course of the film’s 20 minute running time, she finds herself unprepared for the challenges of life on the outside.