The TV and film world still has a long way to go when it comes to reflecting the diversity of our world. However, the following filmmakers are on the right path with projects that need your support.
Dash Harris was born to Panamanian parents, grew up in New York City, and currently resides in her parents’ homeland, while also finding time to travel elsewhere in between. She is passionate about telling stories spanning across the Afro-Latino diaspora, and is currently filming, and still raising funds for Tambor (teaser above), a film that will follow two Afro-Cuban tambereros who find their livelihoods playing drums at Santeria ceremonies. Harris’ goal is to tell the story of why they became tamboreros, and how landing their next ceremony has become the focal point of their existence, while educating people about Santeria in the process.
Tamika Guishard is a graduate of UPenn and NYU, who has been working on her first feature film entitled, Jackie. Jackie tells the story of a young woman who grew up in foster care who finally gets to meet her manipulative birth mother, who since having her has moved on and established another family. Jackie learns that she was the product of teenage pregnancy, and discovers that despite her resentment, she and her mom are also disturbingly similar.
Jackie is a short at the moment, and has made its rounds at the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and Cleveland International Film Festival in 2012-2013. Guishard’s goal is to make Jackie a full feature length film, but she needs funding, and plans to launch her campaign in the next few weeks. Stay up to date here.
Nisa Ahmad was inspired by a vacation to South Africa to dig deep and explore the lives of a few Millennials who live there. Ahmad is embarking on a journey to filming Generation Soweto, a documentary exploring the impact of gentrification on South African Millennials. The film will examine South Africa’s current political and social climate, 20 years after ending Apartheid, the job market, entrepreneurship, the rising costs of living, and more. Ahmad’s Indiegogo did not raise all of its intended funds, but find her on Twitter to keep in touch, and see how you can get involved.
Edward Osei -Gyimah
Edward Osei-Gyimah is an award-winning filmmaker straight out of London, but based in LA, who has been working on Kick in the Door. Kick in the Door is a documentary-style digital series that will explore the role that technology has played in hip-hop’s rise to prominence. Osei-Gyimah is self-funding, and taking meetings with investors to raise the money he needs. Keep up with his progress on IMDB and by connecting on Linkedin.
Tahir Jetter is good at capturing life from the perspective of a Black man in non-stereotypical ways, for obvious reasons. If you’re familiar with his popular web series, Hard Times, then you get that his work tends toward skews toward witty, observational self-reflective cynical and funny. His newest project is his feature film debut entitled, Occasionally Dating Black Women, which is described as a dark comedy about a misogynist who falls in love. Jetter’s Hard Times, was picked up by Issa Rae’s Color Creative Network, so we’re pretty sure Occasionally Dating Black Women, which is tentatively set for a summer 2016 premiere, will be a hit too.
Nana Mensah is popular for her role of “Sade” the sexy siren in the popular web series, An African City, which is returning soon for its second season. However, she is also currently working on her forthcoming film, Queen Of Glory, a dark comedy about the incredibly smart child of Ghanaian immigrants who is quitting her Ivy League PhD program to follow her married lover to Ohio. Her plans get derailed when her mother dies suddenly and leaves her a Christian bookstore in the Bronx.