“A Zebra in the Infield” is a dark comedy about a young African American man named Rotavious from the inner-city. Rotavious is a recent college graduate and he is venturing into the suburbs to purchase a car. After catching a bus to the predominantly Caucasian side of town, he is profiled and harassed by police officer Colescott. Officer Colescott searches Rotavious and finds the money that Rotavious has allocated for his new car, he seizes it as drug money. During a struggle for the money Officer Colescott is shot and Rotavious flees in fear. In his haste to flee he forces, Hannah, a middle aged Caucasian women and her dog to hide him. With the help of America, Hannah’s dog, Rotavious is able to convince Hannah to harbor him. Together they hey devise a plan for his escape.

The story is a satire of the current race relations and police brutality plaguing America. Racism has been an underlining issue in America since it’s conception. After the recent barrage of African American male deaths by police across the nation, it is apparent that the mistreatment of African American citizens is rampant in our country.

The mistreatment of African American males in this country is nothing new. What is new is the technology available to catch the atrocities happening in real time. Normally able to deny and cover up these allegations, cell phone camera technology displays the harassment and supposed accidental deaths of African Americans. Even with this evidence there are those who still find fault with victims, as if death is a fair penalty for petty crimes and darken hued skin. As a nation, overall, America’s treatment of minorities is deplorable. The lack of understanding and inclusion of the African American community by the nation in 2016 has created a divide within America.

In this paper you will find information about the conception of a film that attempts to explore the effects of discrimination and hatred with laughter and humor. You may ask why humor? I believe by using humor and laughter we can create an environment for open conversation and exploration of cultures unknown to us. Laughter is universal and knows no color lines.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Motion pictures--Production and direction; Motion picture authorship; Racial profiling in law enforcement--Drama; Racism--Drama; United States--Race relations--Drama

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Film and Animation (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Film and Animation (CIAS)


Peter Kiwitt

Advisor/Committee Member

Mark Foggetti

Advisor/Committee Member

Frank Desse


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at PN1995.9.P7 R62 2016


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