Famed Director Spike Lee wrote on his Instagram page upon releasing his latest Spike Lee Joint, “My Short Film – NEW YORK NEW YORK Is A Love Letter To It’s People. Plain And Simple.”
The short film, emotional and stark at times, makes us think about what New York was like before COVID-19. “Was it that grey?” “Where are all the busy New Yorkers?” “When have I ever seen a subway empty?”
The film opens with a bunch of landmarks and ends thanking the healthcare workers for their daily sacrifice to the city who has been struck the hardest in the entire US.
Thank you healthcare workers. Thank you Spike Lee.
Featured photo courtesy Spike’s Joint. Poster currently on sale.
Hair Love, an Oscar®-winning animated short film from Matthew A. Cherry, tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.
About Hair Love – From Matthew’s official site:
Hair Love, is a 7 minute animated short film that centers around the relationship between an African-American father, Stephen, his daughter, Zuri and her hair. Despite having long locks, Stephen has been used to his wife doing his daughter’s hair, so when she is unavailable right before a big event, Stephen will have to figure it out on his own. This sounds simple enough, but we soon come to find that Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own.
This story was born out of seeing a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects, and also wanting to promote hair love amongst young men and women of color. It is our hope that this project will inspire.
Hair Love Broke Records
The project is a collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation that was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 with a fundraising goal of $75,000. Strong support led to the campaign amassing nearly $300,000, making it the most highly-funded short film campaign in Kickstarter history.
Black TV Film Crew was an early supporter of Hair Love
We’re very emotional about this project as we supported the initial Kickstarter campaign, shared video, promoted it on Facebook and did an exclusive interview with Matthew to help build momentum. We couldn’t be more proud of this accomplishment. The picture book “Hair Love” was released by Kokila Books/Penguin Random House on May 14, 2019, and became a New York Times Bestseller.
If you get a chance also look for Matthew’s film The Last Fall with Lance Gross.
Directors: Matthew A. Cherry (Executive Producer, “BlacKkKlansman”) Everett Downing Jr. (Animator, “Up”) Bruce W. Smith (Creator, “The Proud Family,” Animator, “The Princess and the Frog”)
Producers: Karen Rupert Toliver, Stacey Newton, Monica A. Young, Matthew A. Cherry, David Steward II, Carl Reed.
Executive Producers: Peter Ramsey (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,”) Frank Abney (Animator, “Toy Story 4.”)
Features: Issa Rae (“Insecure”) as Zuri’s mother.
Co-Executive Producers: Jordan Peele, Andrew Hawkins, Harrison Barnes, Yara and Keri Shahidi. Associate Producers: N’Dambi Gillespie, Gabrielle Union-Wade, Dwayne Wade Jr., Gabourey Sidibe, Stephanie Fredric, and Claude Kelly. Music Composers: Paul Mounsey, Daniel D. Crawford. Additional Composer: Taylor Graves.
Production Partners: Lion Forge Animation, Chasing Miles, Matthew A. Cherry Entertainment.
Richmond Summer (The short film) Written, directed and produced by Bootsie Dawkins. This is a thriller about a group of friends coming home to a smalltown (Richmond County) for the summer. After an emotional roller-coaster bodies begin to add up. Starring Chantelle Nelson, Jas Gray, Sha’cobi D, Little Yenique, Tha Don, Sed Belk, Karon Riley, Devarius Anderson and Jermaine Dawkins. The production Assistant: Darius Antwan Dawkins.
Bootsie Dawkins aka B Supreme is a writer / director and NC A&T alum. When not directing thriller videos, Bootsie is known for music videos, weddings and more. He’s on Instagram.
He’s the owner of B. Supreme. B Supreme is a video production company based out of Greensboro, NC. They specialize in strong contextual visuals. Their catalog consists of weddings, movies, documentaries, events, real estate, commercial, & corporate.
B Supreme provides all services through partnering with other companies. They have several departments that create B Supreme and provide consultation services. In this consultation they can provide manufacturers, accountants, distribution locations, branding, licensing etc. Consultation for simple business advice and listening sessions for all artists can be provided as well. Artists are advised to email music only upon request. Models photos can always be submitted via email. All poets, actors, actresses and directors are encouraged to submit work also.
Testimonial on B. Supreme
B. Supreme handles their business. Here’s a customer’s testimony:
“Wow. So he launched a commercial giveaway branding your business on Facebook. I knew it was a lot of competition but I entered and won. He wrote out the skit, and directed the commercial with so much patience and never once not smiling. I recommend him for his professionalism and overall well rounded guy. His work is awesome and I’m so excited to see how my commercial turned out.”
Brittany Harris, Facebook
Submit your film or webseries
Are you active in the Black TV Film Community on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or our site? Would you like your video to be shown to our community? If so, please submit your video and a bio on yourself.
African American actors are needed. And, we are pleased to announce that one of our crew members is currently casting for a indie short film project in Los Angeles that will be shooting in May. This is a paid opportunity and will shoot 1 – 2 days.
This casting call is looking for two youthful looking African American females in the 18 – 30 year old range and one youthful looking African American male in the 18-30 year old range.
Send a two minute monologue to email@example.com by May 7th, 2018.
Actress Vernika Eshay Rowe. This photo is courtesy @Venika_Eshay_Rowe Instagram
For African American Actors – A Few Words of Advice
I watched Kerry Washington on television the other night. She told Jimmy Kimmel about auditioning for her role on Scandal. She stated that many of her friends thought the role was for them and that she didn’t believe her audition went well. But, she went anyway. It was probably discouraging to hear friends say, “The role was written just for me,” and think to yourself, “Well that means the role isn’t mine.” No one knows who is going to get the role, but the person who doesn’t show up, will never get the role.
It was strange to her Kerry talk about being somewhat insecure about the role when she clearly became Olivia Pope in every sense of the word. All of us deal with doubts and fears from time to time, keep going anyway. Every one questions themselves, but every with a little doubt in your head, claim a victory. Talk positively to yourself and watch your life change.
At Black TV Film Crew, we know a lot of actors are out there looking for a break. This may be yours.
Don’t give up and just keep going.
Final note for those needing motivation:
We recently started a Pinterest page to help keep us motivated and remind us of all the talented black folks all over the world. If you’re on Pinterest, let’s connect.
(Feature photo published courtesy of @Lesliedapwatda’s instagram)
Writer / Director Danae Grandison recently connected with Black TV Film Crew on the eve of The Voice of A Woman Festival screening for her latest film, Unspoken. Grandison is a former Miss Jamaica USA who found her voice as a filmmaker as a result of gaining confidence through competition and being encouraged to take risks. This spirit-led woman talks with us about sharing her voice, empowering women and walking this winding path as creatives do.
Photo by Adjah John
What inspired you to adapt and direct Unspoken?
Unspoken is based on the book The Bed Head by Jennifer Grahame which explores the socio-economical construct of classism and the prevalence of sexual misconduct. The film gives voice to the underrepresented woman inspiring us to identify challenges and drive change.
How did you find The Bed Head?
This book was gifted to me by my Aunt for Christmas. It was the most cosmic gift she could have given me. It was as if she knew this book would inspire me to make my next film. I walked everywhere with my head buried within its pages. The Bed Head book kept saying “shoot me” through the pages and I was determined to do just that.
Photo by Adjah John
What do you hope viewers get from Unspoken?
I made some directorial choices with Unspoken that were intentionally focused on how we experienced these two women who are victims of someone else’s doing. Despite this film is set in Jamaica, with its cultural differences, it will resonate with everyone. I want the audience to look at both of these women, their position, their voice, their power, or lack there of.
As Miss Jamaica USA, what did that experience teach you about life?
After entering that competition, I learned I needed to be willing to take more risks and put myself out there. As much as I am an outgoing person, I am not the person you would ever think would care to enter a beauty pageant. From this competition I became more confident in myself. I wasn’t afraid to be seen or afraid to be heard.
How did you become a filmmaker?
I stumbled on filmmaking by being encouraged to take a course. It was there I discovered I have a voice and its in film. After shooting my first film, Unconditional Love, I won the Audience award which only pushed me to believe I could move an audience with my work.
Photo by Adjah John
What career advice would you give to other women filmmakers at this time?
Be careful which door you walk through. As you take on these other roles for the set experience, do not get comfortable in those roles if that is not what you want to do because you might find yourself stuck. So carefully find your place, listen to your heart and go for “it”. I have listened and I know my passion is directing.
What do you enjoy most about being a filmmaker?
I love working with actors. I love discovering the emotion that drives the moment. I love when I read a script and I close my eyes , and see, hear, smell and be moved by it. I like being able to visually feel its pulse. I also love responding to the voices in my own head that sees stories that need to be told about experiences that are universal and transcend borders. We are living very similar experiences beyond the borders. We just don’t know how connected we really are.
To connect with Danae Grandison, please check her out at the following links:
Instagram Handle: @dir.danae*Top photo of Danae Grandison shot by William Greenwood.*