blackSTORY films is a production company dedicated to celebrating the authentic souls of Black folk through dynamic storytelling. That is our WEB DuBois way of explaining things. The simpler explanation of our agenda is that we seek to develop film projects that convey vivacious and dynamic African-American themed stories free of cliche. Because who needs more cliche in film, music, literature or otherwise, right?
Founded in 2013, blackSTORY has since produced a short 23 minute film entitled "Didn't I Ask For Tea?" which stars the emerging actress Trae Harris of "Newlyweeds." The film is currently in post-production and will be exhibited in film festivals in early 2015. Other projects in development include a television series and full length feature dramedy that you can learn more about here.
"Didn't I Ask For Tea?" (released February 7, 2015)
Short film with a running time of 23 minutes
Logline: When an apartment falls through, Brandy must scramble to find a place. Too little money, too much advice, and a budding romance make for a humorous, if not nerve-wrecking, search as change in the form of an evolving friendship and an evaporating potential-relationship, is proving to be quite the challenge for this Brooklynite.
"Conversating While Black" (September 2016)
Conversating is a web series featuring two-minute conversations between thoughtful, curious black folk talkin' about a variety of fine matters like Beyonce-modeled feminism, black men dying, the scarcity model governing the arts, and folks' widespread perception of "haters." These characters are both humorous and thoughtful - think modern day cast of “A Different World.” They love black culture and have a steady stream of questions, observations, and jokes about the way we live now. Watch at ConversatingWhileBlack.com or on our YouTube page. And YES, "conversating" is a word.
"Maya vs. Settling" (In Development)
Feature film dramedy with a running time of 120 minutes
Logline: After a breakup with a longtime love, Maya gets news that no thirty-something wants to hear. Forced to make fast decisions that will alter her future in parenthood, Maya is additionally stressed by changes at the African-American literary agency she has so tirelessly worked for after her boss decides that they take on "street lit" to compete in the marketplace. It's clear that Maya can take two different paths to securing her future, and family and friends certainly have their say about her rollercoaster journey in dating, work and love.
"Say It Loud" (In Development)
Half hour episodic television series that can be described as WEB DuBois meets Sex & The City.
Logline: Music rules in this Harlem-set episodic series in which a former pop star turned race scholar struggles to reconcile her celebration of black cuture in the midst of the backlash against her controversial research.
Short film with a running time of 23 minutes.
Screened at Brooklyn Museum as part of "Women Changemakers" program, Pan African Film Festival 2015, Black Star Film Festival, Roxbury International Film Festival, Black Harvest Film Festival, Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival, Rwanda International Film Festival, Paris Black Movie Summer Festival, Reel Sisters Film Festival, Los Angeles Black Film Festival, and the Downtown Urban Arts Film Festival.
Logline: When an apartment falls through, Brandy must scramble to find a new place while dealing with a crumbling friendship and an overheated rental market. Too little money, too much advice, and a confusing romance make for a humorous, if not nerve-wrecking, search.
Trae Harris (Brandy)
Although much of Trae’s early acting experience has been rooted in theater, she got her big break with a starring role in the feature film Newlyweeds which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. She continues to work in film and television and has recently wrapped up a guest role in Orange Is The New Black. These days, Trae is performing around the world and focusing on writing her own screenplays, scripts and poetry. She maintains a commitment to humanitarian work and education.
Keona Welch (Mia)
Keona S.E. Welch is a New York based actress who has studied at Shakespeare's Globe in London UK and holds a B.F.A in Theater Arts from Rutgers University. Her work has consisted of many independent films and theater performances. One of her most notable performances was a starring role in Lynn Nottage’s play “Ruined” presented by the Philadelphia Theater Company.
Tre Davis (Eric aka “Cosby”)
A Houston native, Tre Davis holds a BFA from Webster University, Conservatory of Theater Arts and has worked on numerous theater productions in New York, including Shakespeare In the Park in Hamlet, and does varied commercial work.
LaTonia Phipps (Paige)
LaTonia Phipps is an Actor-Performance Artist-Educator and Playwright who was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is an MFA graduate of Brooklyn College. Phipps starred as the lead actress in Katori Hall’s “Children of Killers,” landing her a full page article in The New York Times, The New York Post and Daily News. She had her first writing debut with her one woman show entitled, “Fishin’In Brooklyn,” following a young actor turned writer who finds herself through the spirit of her late mother. Phipps also portrays 28 characters and infuses slam poetry,dance and song. This piece has been seen at The Woodstock Fringe Festival, The Rotunda Theater, and Theater Row to name a few. Phipps is excited to embark on her secondary project, “Now Harlem. Or Gentrify This.”
Monique Lola Berkley (Waitress)
Monique is a native of Harlem, NY. She began performing in theater as a teenager and later earned bit parts in film and commercials. She went on to study at the prestigious Lee Strasburg Theater Institute followed by Marymount Manhattan College majoring in Theater Arts where she earned her BFA. After auditioning for film projects in 2011 she happened upon the opportunity to produce a TV pilot. This began her respect and love for behind the scene production of filmwork. Monique has continued to work as a producer for several music videos and independent film projects. As she continues to act and produce film projects, Monique vows to accept work that will uphold and exude women’s voice, power, beauty
Shaquille Berry (James)
Roger Baptiste (Carl)
Fikerte Fisseha (Neighbor)
Writers: Rahwa Asmerom, Essence Ward
Directors: Rahwa Asmerom, Essence Ward
Executive Producer: Rahwa Asmerom
Producers: Jeremy Batchelor, Essence Ward
Director of Photography: Tine DiLucia
Assistant Camera: Jeremy Batchelor
Gaffer: Jose del C. Martinez
Additional Gaffer: Onorio Perez
Sound/Boom Operator: Mielle Ezra
Additional Sound/Boom Operator: Jalen Thompson
Sound Mixer: David Wilson
Assistant Director: Cortney Grant
Assistant Producer: Fikerte Fisseha
Editor: Aulistar Mark
Make-Up Artist: Rania Zohny
Additional Make-Up: Kathyleen Pitner
Wardrobe Stylist: Tara Denman
Wardrobe Stylist for Trae Harris: Trae Harris
Production Assistants: Yirensky De Jesus, Nicole Scarlett
Composers: Supa Lowery Bros
Still Photographers: Cortney Grant, Bryon Summers
Special Thanks to LaCaye restaurant in Brooklyn