My perspective is geared towards shedding light on critical social issues and empowering women. I approach storytelling by placing each character's unique struggles at the forefront, always looking for underlying themes and messages to bring their stories to life.
My storytelling comes from a place of complete and total unknown. Its almost like a surrender to all things worldly to truly be present with the words and emotions a script conveys. I get lost in the story and allow for the visuals that I create to pave a pathway forward as I film.
I want to shoot stories that speak to the complicated journey that is finding oneself. Even then, the films themselves pale in comparison to the communities and relationships I've built around them. I've come to see community as a natural extension (or perhaps collective form) of identity.
As an emerging cinematographer from a first-generation Thai American background, I've been focused on telling stories that amplify marginalized voices.
I find myself unable to judge people but have found a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. This perspective allows me to approach storytelling and characters in a way that is open and accepting.
When it comes to styling I will look at a model or musicians page and try to do something they haven't done before to push them out of their comfort zone a little bit and create magic.
Raquel “Rocky” Avalos
For any story, I really care for the naturalness of acting such as the reactions of characters, whether without words or with, are so important to me in making the audience believe the scene. Being able to focus on a character alone in a scene is also important to me in building how that character feels space and their own space.
I believe the struggles and hurdles that we face as a culture are a complex set of paints that are used to color our society. I think perhaps not seeing myself as special, but recognizing the special qualities of all the artists around me is what inspires me everyday.
Through my work, I like to explore the multi-faceted experience of being a first generation immigrant in America and I set a lot of my films in my hometown of New York City. Some themes I cover in my work include gentrification, motherhood, community and spirituality.
My experience of becoming an estranged social nomad forced me to engage with various people which in turn shaped my understanding of those different from me. I carry that experience into every film whether it’s a diverse cast or simply connecting with new people.
I’m a filmmaker on a mission to tell stories that are centered in being open and honest in expression. Sometimes that may be stories that make me cry and other times it may be stories that make me burst out in laughter.
Yeajoon (Joon) Cho
I’ve found that people are people, no matter their background. We share the same kinds of love, suffer the same kinds of grief and feel the same kinds of emotions. It didn’t matter where I was — these human conditions remained the same and that has informed my storytelling.
With editing, I still get to inspire my audience by the content I cut & stories I tell, much like how I would have done if I continued in animation. Now whenever I edit a new short film, or have creative discussions with my editors on our shows, the first images and references that pop to mind are animation shows and films.
I've worked in unscripted and scripted. I've also edited trailers. This has helped me develop my storytelling skills. Trailers have been essential for finding cues and integrating music and sfx to emphasize certain elements in a cut. I use this knowledge in all my projects.
I want what I create to make sense to me and to make sense to the people who are going to be watching. I want what I create to make people feel something and to allow a space for open discussion.
The stories that I'm drawn to often center around mental health, loneliness, and the ways that we as humans connect. As a black woman, I recognize a hole in our industry when it comes to these themes and people that share my intersecting identities. This is my mission as an artist: to find those projects and work to make sure those stories get told
As a Black-Queer Filmmaker, joining many others in telling stories that humanize us and prioritize our visibility, the goal is always a certain truth. So often in our lives, we hide behind lies or half-truths, looking to each other and sometimes the media we consume to validate our experiences.
I am passionate about using my skills and experience to help create impactful, socially-relevant and entertaining stories, and I look forward to further developing my craft to help bring those unique and unheard voices to the forefront of the entertainment industry.
To me, an artist, within any medium, is required to have a vision. An artist must see all possibilities of an idea; to recognize its miraculous potential, and then to ensure the miraculous idea actualizes into reality by first accepting that the environment, intention, and "that feeling" are required to invite the most rewarding and impactful outcomes.
Having studied pre-med in college, I have always looked at the world as a living organism. I use my background in biology to not only lead with empathy but help advance stories. I believe you can use science to bring awareness to what is happening in our world right now, whether it's the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles or racial inequalities.
As a multidisciplinary production designer, my practice is built upon my Trans-Atlantic and lived experience. I express and capture vibrant visual narratives that masterfully integrate elements of African art history, traditional portraits, paintings, and modern-day mass media.
Much of the space I occupy is liminal and undefined and the best projects in my career have coincided with those ideals. My background as a theater artist is extremely important to me as a filmmaker and has allowed me to expand my education as a storyteller.
I have always been fascinated by the power of storytelling to bridge cultural divides and bring people together. This has led me to seek out stories that explore themes of identity, belonging, and cultural heritage, and to use my work as a way to celebrate and elevate underrepresented voices.
With each opportunity as a Production Designer, I seek to marry the core elements of the project with my strong attention to detail and keen artistic eye, which has been shaped by years of media intake and art study.
My outsider perspective flows from my current and earliest experiences. I turned fifty-one this year. I’m chasing a dream career as a storyteller amongst a crowd of younger raconteurs. In an industry that values the next “fresh” take, sometimes it’s hard to persuade others that it can come from a middle-age writer.
My work aims to make space for folks who have felt similar: unsure of where they belong and underrepresented in positive stories about their lived experiences as BIPOC and/or Queer folx.
Nzinga Kadalie Kemp
I tell stories about eccentric Black women and girls being themselves in the world. My work celebrates the niches and histories of their lives and the universality of the human experience.
My voice is for the ones who can’t quite figure out where they fit in. My voice is for the lovers of animation who can’t draw, the funny friend who is scared to pursue comedy and the drama queen who cries when they get mad.
2023 Program Partners
A space for emerging creators to build community created by ColorCreative. ColorCreative was founded by Issa Rae and Deniese Davis to support and develop the voices of the future while enabling women and people-of-color creators to reach their greatest potential.