Indie Memphis is excited to announce the 2019 Winners of the Black Filmmaker Residency and Fellowship for Screenwriting -- handpicked by director Barry Jenkins from a selection of outstanding finalists.
This year's national Black Filmmaker Residency for Screenwriting Recipient is Raven Jackson to develop her screenplay all dirt roads taste of salt. Jackson will receive a $7,500 unrestricted cash grant and a two month residency, including travel and housing, in Memphis to work on her feature film.
And our first Black Filmmaker Fellowship for Screenwriting goes to Memphian Jamey Hatley to develop her screenplay The Eureka Hotel. Hatley will also receive a $7,500 unrestricted cash grant and and a two month fellowship in Memphis to work on her project. The inaugural Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Fellowship in Screenwriting was funded by Barry Jenkins.
"As an artist, I've always admired Memphis and what it's meant to Black artistry across many forms and genres. To partner with Indie Memphis in supporting Jamey Hatley and Raven Jackson in taking the next steps in their quest to creatively engage and contribute to the diaspora is an honor most high. In their work, I find resounding proof that Memphis both raises talent from within (Ms. Hatley, a native Memphian) and inspires it from abroad (Ms. Jackson)." -- Barry Jenkins
INDIE MEMPHIS BLACK FILMMAKER RESIDENCY IN SCREENWRITING
A native of Tennessee, Raven Jackson is an award-winning filmmaker, poet, and photographer. A 2018-19 IFP Marcie Bloom Fellow, her debut feature, all dirt roads taste of salt, lyrically explores the life of a Black woman in the American South and was the recipient of an SFFILM Rainin Screenwriting Grant. Her latest short film, Nettles, winner of an inaugural Flies Collective Film Grant, recently had its International Premiere at the 66th edition of the San Sebastián International Film Festival. She is currently a thesis student in New York University's Graduate Film Program.
Sephora Woldu, Untitled (Prequel to Life is Fare)
Sephora Woldu is an Eritrean American writer/filmmaker based in San Francisco. Her films have won acclaim with audiences including the American Film Institute, New Orleans Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, Marfa Film Festival, Oslo Independent Film Festival, Columbia University, Museum of African Diaspora, and Eritrean community centers from Philadelphia to San Jose. Sephora received the Craig Brewer Emerging Filmmaker Award (Indie Memphis), Balalaica Filmmaker Award (Moscow Indie Film Festival), and the Special Jury Prize for Bold Innovation (RiverRun International Film Festival) for her Tigrinya/ English debut feature length narrative film, Life is Fare. Sephora also co-founded the Asmara Indie Film Festival, studied graduate architecture, and currently works with the global design firm IDEO because among other things, she is full of surprises.
Zuff Idries, Intelligentsia
Zuff Idries is a first-generation Sudanese immigrant, born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. He recently earned his B.A. in Film & Media Studies from Dartmouth College, where he received the Kaplan Award for Filmmaker of the Year, as well as an Alexander Laing Memorial Writing Award in his final year. He has worked as a Projectionist at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, and as a Production Apprentice at the Telluride Film Festival. His most recent short film Sputnik 1, is scheduled for release this summer.
Syd Stewart, DEEP
Syd Stewart is a poet, actor and filmmaker. She is the author of two books of poetry, A Rock and A Hard Place (iUniverse, 2010) and Babylon Graffiti (Zeitgeist Press, 2019). Syd was featured in films Hughes’ Dream Harlem and Everyday People, and has appeared in The New York Times, Variety, and People Magazine. Stewart’s work was selected by the National Endowment For The Arts’ 50th Anniversary. She is a 2017 New York Stage and Film filmmaker fellow, Austin Film Festival Second Rounder and 2016 Universal Pictures Emerging Writers semifinalist. Syd is the founder of Better Youth, Inc., a nonprofit which uses mentoring and media arts to equip youth with creative confidence.
E.G. Bailey, Minor Street
Xavier Burgin, On Time
Natalie Cook, Orange Mound
Bam Johnson, The Night People
Christian Lucas, Let It Be Me
INDIE MEMPHIS BLACK FILMMAKER FELLOWSHIP IN SCREENWRITING
Jamey Hatley, The Eureka Hotel
Jamey Hatley is a Memphian. She is obsessed with stories in ruin, at the very edge of being forgotten. Her writing has appeared in the Oxford American,The Account, Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from The Margins of History, Memphis Noir, Strange Horizons and elsewhere. She is a Prose Fellow for the National Endowment for the Arts and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award Winner. She is currently at work on a novel, The Dream-Singers, and a short film and a feature film based on her story-essay, "Always Open, The Eureka Hotel.” She is a member of the Writers Guild of America, East.
Munirah Safiyah Jones, Candida Jones
Munirah Safiyah Jones is a writer/filmmaker, born and still being raised in Memphis, TN. One of 10 children born to a factory worker father and an award-winning stage actress mother, Munirah has always had a penchant for comedic writing, crafting compelling and relatable stories and bringing it all to fruition on screen. She began exploring filmmaking as a teen, helming everything from short films to music videos, and went on to work in television news at WMC-TV 5 while attending the University of Memphis, where she earned her Bachelors in Communications with a concentration in Film and Video. She developed an explosive online presence with her animated viral video: “Dating in 2018 – How Men Communicate” – which she wrote, animated and voiced – and garnered the attention of Hollywood and an increasingly intrigued following through her combination of live-action and animated short videos. She currently serves as Sr. Production Specialist for a billion-dollar financial services company based in New York, where she creates engaging videos for e-Learning courses, conferences, social media and the web.
Nubia Yasin, See.Jane.Run
Nubia Yasin is a 19 year old multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Memphis TN. She finds her tribe in The Collective, a non-profit dedicated to cultivating the black community through the black artist, as well as NuJas, a multi-disciplinary co-operative that seeks to create space and platforms for women and queer artists of color in Memphis. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Film and Video Production at the University of Memphis.
Support for the Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Residency in Screenwriting is provided by the Remembering George Riley Fund.
The inaugural Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Fellowship in Screenwriting was funded by Barry Jenkins.
Programs such as the Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Residency and Fellowship in Screenwriting are made possible with our recently received FilmCraft grant from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Read more here.