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Elegance Bratton

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Elegance Bratton
Bratton at the 2022 Montclair Film Festival
Born (1979-05-03) May 3, 1979 (age 45)
Alma materColumbia University (BA)
New York University (MFA)
Occupation(s)Director, writer, producer, photographer
Years active2014–present
SpouseChester Algernal Gordon

Elegance Bratton (born May 3, 1979) is an American filmmaker and photographer.[1][2][3] He began his career in the 2010s, writing, directing, and producing a variety of projects including the short film Walk for Me, the reality television series My House, and the documentary film Pier Kids.[4]

Bratton's feature film directorial debut, The Inspection, premiered at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival and was released by A24 that November.[5][6]

Early life


Elegance was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and raised in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. At age 16, he was kicked out of his home for being gay and spent 10 years being homeless before joining the Marines.[7] He served as a combat camera production specialist in Camp H. M. Smith in Hawaii, shooting videos and taking photographs.[8] Bratton completed his boot camp[9] and was later honorably discharged. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in African American studies, and received his MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts for directing and writing.[10][11]



Bratton has worked as a director, writer, producer, and photographer since the early 2010s. His photographic compilation Bound by Night was shortlisted for the Kassel 2014 photo-book award.[12][13]

In 2016, he directed a short film, Walk for Me, as an assignment in his second year in the filmmaking program at Tisch.[14] The film is about trans motherhood in ballroom culture.[14][15] Walk for Me was released on the Criterion Channel years later.[15]

In 2018, Bratton directed the documentary film, Pier Kids, about three LGBTQ homeless youths in New York City; the film was released in 2019,[16] and has been featured in various media outlets, such as the VICE, ABC News, The Huffington Post, OUT Magazine, and GLAAD.[17][18][19]

Bratton's feature film directorial debut, titled The Inspection, was announced in April 2021 with a cast that includes Jeremy Pope, Gabrielle Union, Bokeem Woodbine, and Raúl Castillo, with Gamechanger Films set to produce, and A24 set to produce and distribute.[6] Bratton also wrote the screenplay.[20] The film had its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2022.[5] It also screened at the 60th New York Film Festival on October 14, 2022,[21] the Austin Film Festival on October 29, 2022,[22] before being released theatrically in the United States on November 18, 2022 by A24.[23]



Short film

Year Title Director Writer Producer
2016 Walk for Me Yes Yes Yes
2017 Life After No No Yes
2018 Ina nyo No No Yes
Fran This Summer No No Yes
Tadpole No No Yes
2020 Buck Yes Yes Yes


Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
2019 Pier Kids Yes Yes Yes
2018 My House Yes Yes Yes TV series

Feature film

Year Title Director Writer
2022 The Inspection Yes Yes



In 2022, Bratton was named a United States Artists (USA) Fellow.[24] On October 22, 2022, he received the Breakthrough Director & Writer Award at the Montclair Film Festival.[25][26] On January 27, 2023, Bratton was the inaugural recipient of the Coolidge Breakthrough Artist Award from Coolidge Corner Theatre.[27]


  1. ^ Hawgood, Alex (June 26, 2018). "Category Is … Filmmaker Realness". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  2. ^ "ELEGANCE BRATTON & HIS UNIQUE JOURNEY TOWARD FILMMAKING". nhfilmfestival.com. July 24, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  3. ^ "'Pier Kids:The Life,' Elegance Bratton Film, Evidences The Struggles Of LGBT Homeless Youth". huffingtonpost.in. September 3, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "Preview Documentary 'Pier Kids: The Life' on Homeless LGBT Youth of Color". indiewire.com. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  5. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 4, 2022). "Toronto Unveils Discovery & Wavelengths Sections; Midnight Madness Opening Includes Roku's 'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Hipes, Patrick (June 7, 2021). "Jeremy Pope & Gabrielle Union To Star In A24's 'The Inspection'; Elegance Bratton To Write & Direct Autobiographical Tale". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  7. ^ "Gay Marine's Amazing Journey From Homeless Shelter to Ivy League". ABC News. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Incredible Story of a Homeless Teenager Who Went On To Become A Star Marine". businessinsider.in. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  9. ^ "For Elegance Bratton, a destiny realized in 'The Inspection'". November 21, 2022.
  10. ^ "Elegance Bratton's Amazing Journey From Homeless Shelter to Ivy League". gs.columbia.edu. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  11. ^ "ON YOUR RADAR: ELEGANCE BRATTON". tisch.nyu.edu. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  12. ^ "Elegance Bratton: Bound by Night". anothermag.com. March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  13. ^ "32 Books selected". fotobookfestival.org. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Elegance Bratton's Walk For Me Spotlights Trans Motherhood in Ballroom". out.com. July 13, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Walk for Me". The Criterion Channel. Retrieved September 9, 2022.
  16. ^ "This Documentary Shines A Light On NYC's Homeless LBGTQ Youth". thefader.com. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "Life for Homeless Gay and Trans Teens in New York City". vice.com. June 29, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  18. ^ "WATCH: Pier Kids". out.com. August 30, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  19. ^ "Watch the trailer for Pier Kids: The Life, and help fund the film". glaad.org. November 4, 2013. Archived from the original on May 1, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  20. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 16, 2021). "Bokeem Woodbine And Raúl Castillo Join Jeremy Pope And Gabrielle Union In A24's 'The Inspection'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  21. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (August 8, 2022). "New York Film Festival Sets Elegance Bratton's 'The Inspection' With Jeremy Pope, Gabrielle Union As Closing Night Film". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  22. ^ Boehmer, Aaron. "'The Inspection' shows at Austin Film Festival, centers Black queer man as film's hero". The Daily Texan. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  23. ^ Chapman, Wilson (August 23, 2022). "TIFF Premiere 'The Inspection' Receives First Trailer From A24, Sets November Release Date". Variety. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  24. ^ "United States Artists » Elegance Bratton". Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  25. ^ "The Inspection | Montclair Film". montclairfilm.org. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  26. ^ Kuperinsky, Amy (September 23, 2022). "Montclair Film Festival will honor Eddie Redmayne and Elegance Bratton, welcome Brendan Fraser". NJ.com. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  27. ^ "Announcing the first ever Coolidge Breakthrough Artist Award". Coolidge Corner Theater. Retrieved March 6, 2023.