St. Louis Superman

St. Louis Superman is a 2019 American short documentary film about activist, battle rapper, and former politician Bruce Franks Jr. It was directed by Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra. It was released by MTV Documentary Films.[1]

St. Louis Superman
Directed bySami Khan
Smriti Mundhra
Produced bySami Khan
Smriti Mundhra
Poh Si Teng
StarringBruce Franks Jr.
CinematographySami Khan
Christopher Renteria
MTV Documentary Films
Release date
February 20, 2019
Running time
28 minutes

Franks became an activist in the unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014. Franks was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2016.[1][2] The film covers his time in state government and his struggles with unresolved childhood trauma, including witnessing his nine-year-old brother's death in a shooting.[3][4]

Sheila Nevins of MTV Documentary Films purchased St. Louis Superman after its debut the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.[5][2] Nevins had the filmmakers add a coda that elaborated on Franks' mental health struggles.[5]


St. Louis Superman premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019; it won the special jury mention.[5][6][2] It also screened at Big Sky Film Fest, where it won the jury prize for best documentary short; Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, where it won the audience award for best short; AFI Docs, where it won the audience award[2]; and the St. Louis International Film Festival, where it won best local short.[7]

St. Louis Superman was nominated for Best Documentary (Short Subject) for the 92nd Academy Awards,[8][1][6][5][3] losing to Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (If You're a Girl).[9]


  1. ^ a b c Stevenson, Samantha (2020-01-13). "'St. Louis Superman,' documentary about Ferguson activist and politician Bruce Franks Jr., among 2020 Oscar nominees". St. Louis Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  2. ^ a b c d Sippell, Margeaux (2019-07-25). "MTV Documentary Films Unveils '17 Blocks' and 'St. Louis Superman'". TheWrap. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  3. ^ a b Radio, Jason Rosenbaum (2020-01-15). "Oscar nomination for 'St. Louis Superman'". St. Louis American. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  4. ^ Obradovic, Monica (2020-02-03). "Superman's Burden: Filmmakers Saw Strain on Bruce Franks Jr". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  5. ^ a b c d Littleton, Cynthia (2020-01-13). "MTV Documentary Films Makes Splashy Debut With 'St. Louis Superman' Nomination". Variety. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  6. ^ a b Johnson, Kevin C. (2020-01-13). "Bruce Franks Jr. documentary 'St. Louis Superman' lands an Oscar nomination". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  7. ^ Neman, Daniel (2019-11-18). "St. Louis International Film Festival announces its awards". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  8. ^ Carey, Matthew (2020-01-20). ""Magnetic" Documentary Subject Bruce Franks Jr. Drives 'St. Louis Superman' To Oscar Nomination". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  9. ^ Whitten, Sarah (2020-02-10). "Oscars 2020: 'Parasite,' '1917' win big at 92nd Academy Awards". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-02-11.

External linksEdit