2019 360 Incubator+ Teams & Projects
Black Public Media is pleased to introduce the 10 projects selected to participate in our 360 Incubator+ talent development program for 2019. Read on to learn more about these projects as well as the fellows and mentors who will work together over the next several weeks to bring them closer to fruition.
At the conclusion of the workshop/mentoring phase of the fellowship, each team will compete for up to $150K in development funds during in our PitchBlack Forum on Friday, April 11, 2019. The PitchBlack Awards will be presented at a ceremony honoring these and other distinguished media professionals on Saturday, April 12, 2019.
THE 3,000 PROJECT
mentor: chris hastings
The 3,000 Project explores how Wisconsin — one of the most incarcerated states in the nation — is grappling with the problem of mass incarceration.
Keith McQuirter is an award-winning producer and director with credits in documentary film, digital and broadcast commercials. In 2017, his film Milwaukee 53206 — which chronicles the lives of those living in the zip code that incarcerates the highest percentage of black men in America — won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Documentary at the Urbanworld Film Festival, and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s Media for a Just Society Award. He also co-produced the five-part Peabody Award-winning and Primetime Emmy-nominated docu-series Brick City for the Sundance Channel.
LaNora Williams-Clark, Esq., has spent nearly two decades advocating for prison/sentencing reform. Her journey began at U.C. Berkeley where she did research on mandatory minimum sentencing and the War on Drugs. She wenton to assist in creating the nation’s first offender reentry clinic at NYU School of Law. Under the guidance of her mentor, constitutional law scholar Derrick Bell, she eventually left the practice of law to launch Muse Creative Arts Agency, LLC, which supports the efforts of writers and creators usingfilm and theatre to tell underrepresentedstories about the Black experience.LaNora’s first book, Becoming the Muse,was published in 2016 and her second is scheduled for release later this year.
Chris Hastings passion for television started at age 10 when he produced Kids News, a daily news show at his elementary school outside Philadelphia. After college, he became a founding team member in the development and production of Black Entertainment Television’s award-winning BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley. A 14-year veteran at WGBH, Chris began with the children’s television program ZOOM and eventually evolved to his New England Emmy award-winning work at the WGBH Lab, an innovative incubator for up-and- coming filmmakers. He joined the WORLD Channel in 2011 as interim managing producer and currently is the executive producer and editorial manager of content for WORLD Channel and WORLDChannel. org.
mentor: sonia gonzalez-martinez
Changing State is the untold, yet timely, story of how America’s race relations impacted the Cold War, as told through the lives and careers of three African-American diplomats — Carl Rowan, Edward R. Dudley and Terence Todman — who served as U.S. ambassadors during the Cold War and civil rights movement.
Leola Calzolai-Stewart is a co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based Flowstate Films. Her first independent project, The Last Song Before the War, examines the role of Mali’s Festival au Desert in promoting peace and development in Timbuktu. Her second film, Dear Walmart, offers an intimate look at a diverse group of Walmart employees who stood up, fought back, and won better wages and respect inside America’s largest private retailer.
Kiley Kraskouskas is a co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based Flowstate Films. Her first independent project, The Last Song Before the War, examines the role of Mali’s Festival au Desert in promoting peace and development in Timbuktu. Her second film, Dear Walmart, offers an intimate look at a diverse group of Walmart employees who stood up, fought back, and won better wages and respect inside America’s largest private retailer.
Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez is a graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts who honed her craft as a writer, director and editor as an assistant editor for such esteemed directors as Spike Lee, Milos Forman, Alan J. Pakula, Ted Demme, and Robert Redford. As an editor, she’s cut numerous shorts, DVD special features, feature films and documentaries. Her most recent work includes Los Bandoleros (directed by Vin Diesel) and Antonia Pantoja, Presente! (directed by Lillian Jimenez). Sonia recently finished editing Passionate Politics: The Life and Work of Charlotte Bunch, a feature documentary about renowned global feminist Charlotte Bunch, directed by Tami Gold. Sonia is also the editor on the weekly ABC News tech show, Tech This Out!
The Chicago Franchise
mentor: byron hurt
The Chicago Franchise explores the complicated relationship between gun violence, poverty and residential segregation in the Windy City. Through expert interviews and verité footage with families stuck at the crossroads of this issue, the film posits that until lawmakers decide to address Chicago’s segregation problem, nothing will change.
Randall Dottin is an award-winning filmmaker whose graduate thesis film A-Alike was licensed by HBO for a two-year broadcast and won numerous awards, including the 2004 Student Academy Awards’ gold medal for Best Narrative Film. In 2007, his short film Lifted was sponsored by the Fox Searchlab, which is Fox Searchlight’s program for emerging directors. In March 2009, he was named one of the Top Ten New Voices in Black Cinema by Indiewire magazine.
Byron Hurt describes himself as a “humanitarian who cares about the voiceless and the oppressed.” The award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, and anti-sexist activist is the former host of the Emmy-nominated series, Reel Works with Byron Hurt. His documentary, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and broadcast nationally on PBS’ Emmy-award winning series Independent Lens. Byron’s latest film, Soul Food Junkies, won the CNN Best Documentary Award at the American Black Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City. Soul Food Junkies aired nationally on PBS’ Emmy- Award winning series Independent Lens in January and April 2013. A member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, Hurt’s next film is called Hazing: How Badly Do You Want In?
mentor: yoruba richen
Commuted is a lyrical documentary about Danielle Bernard Metz, a mother of two who, in 1993, was sentenced to triple life plus 20 years for her role in her husband’s drug ring. After serving 23 years in prison, Danielle was finally freed under President Obama’s Clemency Initiative in 2016. Commuted documents her fight to reconcile her present with past regrets.
Nailah Jefferson is a native of New Orleans whose documentary film work reflects the community that raised her. Her first film, Vanishing Pearls, chronicles an obscure African- American oyster-fishing community’s fight for justice after the catastrophic BP oil spill in 2010. Nailah’s first narrative film, Plaquemines (now on Cinemax) won the inaugural Create Louisiana $50k Short Film Grant and was an American Black Film Festival HBO Shorts finalist. Nailah will devote her fellowship to working on a lyrical documentary about Danielle Bernard Metz. In 1993, Danielle, then a mother of two young children, was sentenced to triple life plus 20 years for her role in her husband’s drug ring. After serving 23 years in prison, she was finally freed under President Obama’s Clemency Initiative in 2016. Nailah’s film documents Danielle’s fight to reconcile her present with past regrets.
Yoruba Richen is a documentary filmmaker whose latest film, The New Black, recently premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and won audience awards at AFI Docs, Philly Q Fest and Frameline LGBT Film Festival. Her previous award-winning
work includes Promised Land, Sisters of the Good Death and Take it From Me. A Guggenheim fellow, Yoruba also is a professor of documentary film at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Listen to My Heartbeat
mentor: sabrina schmidt gordon
Listen to My Heartbeat documents how gentrification is not only evicting Black people from the nation’s capital, but also Go-Go, the homegrown, folkloric music that once gave them voice.
Nyjia July was named among Source Magazine’s “25 Women to Watch” in 2015. The Washington, D.C. native majored in documentary film and digital journalism at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and has worked on the Emmy-nominated Brick City, was a CPB diversity fellow and a digital producer with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), and has been a field and segment director with numerous production companies. Her first documentary, Just Us, examines the epidemic of generational imprisonment.
Sabrina Schmidt Gordon is a documentary filmmaker from NYC. Her editing debut won an Emmy for WGBH’s Greater Boston Arts series and she has continued to distinguish herself
on award-winning films, web and television programs. She is the co-producer and editor of Documented, the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. The film had record viewership for its CNN broadcast, and was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary. Sabrina’s latest film, BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, won Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color at the African Diaspora International Film Festival. Other producing and editing credits include Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter, and America By the Numbers: The New Mad Men. In addition to her work as a documentary filmmaker, Sabrina produces media for nonprofit and grassroots organizations, and engagement campaigns that leverage documentaries for tools for social change. She is the co-chair of the Black Documentary Collective and serves on many media panels and juries.
A Love Supreme: Black, Queer and Christian
mentor: michéle stephenson
A Love Supreme: Black, Queer and Christian in the South follows eight Black families who are struggling to reconcile the religious bigotry they learned from the pulpit with the immense love they have for their lesbian, gay, bi, queer, and trans relatives. The film will be accompanied by a public impact campaign.
Katina Parker is a filmmaker, photographer, journalist, and writer living in Durham, N.C. Her documentary credits include Ferguson:A Report from Occupied Territory, which she co-produced and filmed (Fusion - ABC/Disney); and Whose Streets?, a film documenting Ferguson activists during the year after Mike Brown Jr. was killed by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson. Katina received her MFA in film production from the University of Southern California and her MA in Speech Communications from Wake Forest University. She formerly taught at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and has won a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship and two Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist grants.
Michéle Stephenson is co-founder of Rada Film Group. A graduate of McGill University and Columbia Law School, she uses her background in critical studies, race and human rights to inform her documentary work. Her Panamanian and Haitian heritage has also fueled her passion to tackle stories on communities of color and human rights. Her film American Promise was awarded the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking at Sundance and the African American Film Critics’ Association Award. The film’s companion book Promises Kept received the 2013 NAACP Image Award. An early pioneer in the Web 2.0 revolution, Michéle used video and the internet to structure human rights campaigns and train people from around the globe in video Internet advocacy. Her work has appeared on PBS, Showtime, MTV and other outlets. Her honors include the Silverdocs Diversity Award and the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media.
A Good Man
mentor: joe brewster
A Good Man is an investigative film that documents Michael’s journey to discover his biological father. Filmed in a variety of styles, it offers a fresh look at fatherhood, parenting and family.
Michael Fequiere is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer and producer whose films have screened in festivals worldwide (TIFF, AFI Docs, CPH-DOX, PBS, IDFA, and Blackstar). His short film Kojo attracted a Fox Inclusion Emerging Artist Award in 2017 and was featured in BPM’s AfroPop Series X in 2018. Michael has worked as a producer, director and photographer at Townsquare Media, a digital media agency where he made branded content videos featuring Janelle Monae, Jidenna, Joey Badass, G-Eazy and more. He currently works as a Producer at CNN’s Great Big Story, a video network dedicated to cinematic storytelling on short-form documentaries from around
the world. His photography has appeared in XXL magazine and online in PopCrush and Loudwire.
Joe Brewster is a producer, director, and psychiatrist who uses this training as the foundation in approaching the social issues he tackles as an artist and filmmaker. A Rada Film Group co-founder, he creates stories using installation, narrative, documentary, and print mediums. Brewster’s American Promise was awarded the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking at Sundance and the African American Film Critics’ Association Award. The film’s companion book Promises Kept received the 2013 NAACP Image Award. A recipient of fellowships and grants from the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, BAVC, MacArthur Foundation, and John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Joe is a Spirit Award and three-time Emmy Award nominee.
Heroes of Color
mentor: kimson albert
Heroes of Color is an educational web series that celebrates the achievements of unsung people of color. The objective of the series is to create a more inclusive K-12 curriculum that inspires pride among our youth.
David Heredia has been freelancing professionally since 2006. He has worked for Walt Disney Animation, Warner Brothers Animation and DC Collectibles. He now runs Heroes of Color, LLC, named after his award- winning educational video series Heroes of Color, which has been featured in the New York Times and on NPR, and recently licensed an episode to PBS Online. An upcoming children’s book based on the series is scheduled for release later this year. Through his company, David promotes inclusion and diversity through art and animation.
Kimson Albert was born and schooled in New York City and has been directing and producing animation on various animated projects for TV and film for more than 20 years. Starting his career on MTV’s Beavis And Butthead, he served as supervising animation director on Adult Swim’s The Venture Brothers (2015), and most recently working on Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe (2013-18). He is currently the supervising animation director on Cartoon Network’s OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes (2018). He lives in Burbank, California.
mentor: rachel falcone
Greenwood Avenue is a groundbreaking virtual reality exploration — led by fictional character Agnes Bess — into the lives of African Americans who lived through the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma Race Riots.
Ayana Baraka is an award-winning cinematographer who the Amsterdam News labeled a “person on the rise” in 2015. She became IATSE Local Camera Union qualified in 2013 and has worked on several feature and documentary films including The Hunting Ground, Behind the Curtain: Eclipsed (by Dania Guriria, featuring Lupita Nyong’o), Black Nativity, and The Amazing Spider-Man. In 2016, she won an award for Best Cinematography at the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival. Ayana is a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts film program and holds an MFA in Film and Television Production.
Rachel Falcone is a documentary director/ producer and multimedia artist who is the director and co-founder of Storyline, a nonprofit production company that crafts original stories to make sense of complicated issues, provoke discussion and inspire actions that address society’s biggest challenges. She has produced and directed stories about a range of topics, including the housing crisis, economic inequality, and environmental justice. Rachel is currently co-directing the participatory web documentary and exhibition Sandy Storyline (winner of the Tribeca Film Festival’s inaugural Award for Transmedia) and producing Water Warriors, a short film and exhibition about a community’s resistance against the oil and natural gas industry.
Points of View
mentor: michael premo
Points of View (POV) is a hyper reality experience set in Los Angeles 2025, where weaponized police drones govern the skies. POV raises legal and societal questions about how much privacy we should surrender as law enforcement technology develops.
Alton Glass is an award-winning filmmaker and co-founder of GlassRock Entertainment. An alumnus of Oculus Launch Pad and the Google/YouTube VR180 grant program for immersive content creators has directed, produced and created projects for BET, Netflix, TV One, Disney, and Toyota. In 2014, he made American Black Film Festival history by winning an award in each category his film CRU had been nominated. In 2017, he won a “Breakout Star of The Year” Award for Tech Innovation at Black Enterprise’s Tech ConneXt Summit.
Donovan DeBoer has more than 15 years of expertise in new media development, creative direction, film marketing, branding, and high performance design concepts. The award- winning filmmaker has written and directed several films, commercials and music videos as well worked as a freelance creative director for many high profile brands including Pepsi, Naked Juice, Quaker, NXGEN and InvisiPay. In 2011, Donovan and two other entertainment professionals, started KickStream Creative, a branding, marketing and development company for television, film and new media.
Michael Premo is an artist, journalist
and filmmaker who also is the executive Producer of Storyline, a nonprofit production company that crafts original stories to make sense of complicated issues, provoke discussion and inspire actions that address society’s biggest challenges. Recent projects with Storyline include the multi-platform project 28th Amendment: Housing is a Human Right, the participatory documentary Sandy Storyline, and award-winning short film and exhibit Water Warriors. In addition, Michael has created original film, radio, and theater projects with numerous companies including Hip-Hop Theater Festival, The Foundry Theater, The Civilians, and the Peabody Award winning StoryCorps. Michael’s photography has appeared in publications like The Village Voice, The New York Times, and Het Parool, among others. For the Corporation for Public Broadcasting he helped produce Veterans Coming Home, a multi-platform public media series distributed by PBS. Michael is on the Board of Trustees of A Blade of Grass and A Center for Story- Based Strategy.