Alumni Highlights: Flawed and Steps of Faith

CCBFF is wholly dedicated to celebrating the talent, vision, and hard work of independent filmmakers of color across the globe. While an annual event centering around this goal brings us great joy, we also know that it is important to call attention to these creative minds long after the festival is over.

Today we are proud to present our next filmmakers in our Alumni Highlights series: Derege Harding – director, writer, and producer of FLAWED, 3rd Place winner for Best Short film – and M. Legend Brown – director of Steps of Faith, 1st Place winner for Best Feature film.

Name: Derege Harding

Film Screened at CCBFF: FLAWED

Year Screened: 2014

Role in Film: Writer, Director, Producer

How did being a part of CCBFF impact you and your film?

It really helped to validate my work.  When your friends and family tell you that they like a film that you’ve made, it can be difficult to tell how sincere they are. They love you and want to support you; of course they are going to tell you it’s good.  Being a part of CCBFF and winning an award let me know exactly where I stand. It let me know I should keep making films.

What has/is happening with your film since (or before) being a part of CCBFF? 

FLAWED was accepted to another festival.

Tell us a little about your latest project. Title, summary, etc.

I’m almost finished working on a new short called FIRST DATE, LAST DATE.  It’s a drama about finding your soul mate at the worst possible time - the end of the world. Sara and Michael are on their first date when all hell breaks loose. One would think they would be terrified as it unfolds just outside their window but they both decide to suppress their fear and continue with the date as the world crumbles around them...

What was your inspiration for this project in particular?

Inspired by the storytelling and cinematic techniques used in films like Children of Men and Gravity, this short film is presented as one take. Making the film this way was extremely challenging and ambitious but the end result was well worth it as the camera moves seamlessly through both the action and emotion of the story.

What would you say is your greatest resource during the early phases of your creative process?

The Internet.  I didn’t have the money to pay for post production services so I was able to use the internet and internet tutorials to teach myself the basics of film editing, sound mixing, color correction and visual effects.  It ended up saving me A LOT of money.

Please provide your social media links:

www.facebook.com/firstdatelastdatemovie

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Notice-of-Filming/196004583861296


Name: M. Legend Brown

Film Screened at CCBFF: Steps of Faith

Year Screened: 2014

Role in Film: Director

How did being a part of CCBFF impact you and your film?

It was great because it was the first audience that wasn't padded to see the film and gave us an opportunity to hear real feedback on the film.

What has/is happening with your film since (or before) being a part of CCBFF?

We have been selected to 15 film festivals and we are in the process of securing DVD distribution, a broadcast deal, and a foreign release.

Tell us a little about your latest project. Title, summary, etc.

My latest project is a film titled "A Man Called Jon."

“A Man Called Jon” is a light-hearted comedy about Pastor Jon Terrell Cartwright’s unusual style of worship. Jon’s church is very traditional and is not accustomed to outbursts during service. One day after embarrassing the church along with his family, Senior Pastor Stannum decides to reach out to the Bishop requesting that Jon be assigned to a church more suited to his style of praise.  Jon and his family find themselves at an African-American Church, where he is confronted by Associate Pastor Dickens, who later informs him that he was sent to the wrong church due to a mix-up in paperwork.  Jon and his family are moved to their third church where they struggle to fit in.

Will Jon be able to control his celebration or will he be moved for a fourth time?

What was your inspiration for this project in particular?

Shirley Caesar

What would you say is your greatest resource during the early phases of your creative process?

Movies...watching a lot of movies. I also like to be alone to gather my thoughts.

The film festival is a longstanding tradition in the industry – for better or worse. Based on your experience, what is the greatest strength and weakness of the current film festival model?

The strength is the networking opportunities for filmmakers. The weakness is the lack of an audience in screenings – most of the time, it's only one or two people at an event.

In this Internet Age, the filmmaker has many options for bringing an idea to market – Youtube, Vimeo, Kickstarter...In your opinion, what's missing in the current landscape for an independent filmmaker to reach their own sense of success?

Connecting directly to their core audience. Even with the internet and social media, there still seems to be a gap...not as huge as before, but still a gap.

Please provide your social media links: 

https://www.facebook.com/amancalledjon