Introducing Alumni Highlights!

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.

That is why we are proud to announce our Alumni Highlights series, in which we catch up with the people who make this event what it is. Today we are proud to present Jacolby Percy – writer, director, and producer of Ritechus Cry – and Adrian Tyus – writer, director, and producer of Horseshoe.


Name: Jacolby Percy

Role in Film: Writer/Director/Producer

Film Screened at CCBFF: Ritechus Cry

Year Screened: 2014

ritechus-cry.jpg

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

It gave me more exposure in the Austin area. I'm a Texas Filmmaker so it's important to have exposure in my home state.

 

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

The film has gone on to screen at 5 other film festivals and is now in the process of being licensed out to streaming platforms.

 

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

My latest short film is COLOUR ME PRETTY. It's about a young African American girl who is facing the challenges of adjusting to a new environment where she is not wanted. Her parents struggle to help their daughter deal with identity issues as well as their own personal self worth. I hope to begin shooting later this year. 

 

What was your inspiration for this project in particular?

This was inspired by an incident a close friend's niece who was having identity issues and how it affected her and her parents' day-to-day life.

 

How can people get in touch with you?

Facebook: Jacolby Percy

Twitter: @RealJpercy

Instagram: @jpercyfilm


Name: Adrian D. Tyus

Role in Film: Writer/Director/Producer

Film Screened at CCBFF: Horseshoe

Year Screened: 2014

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

Being a part of the festival last year was a huge accomplishment and useful source for feedback about the project. Being able to share something that you've worked hard on with an audience of like-minded individuals encourages a special type of release. That weekend gave not only me but also the cast and crew of the film the encouragement to keep going whether – if they were writers, camera assist, first time actors, or aspiring line producers. This was particularly exciting for me because it meant that we all were doing something right and we did it together as a team.

 

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

Since the festival in August 2014 “Horseshoe” has been screened over 8 times in three countries and was subtitled into German and Chinese.

 

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

While living in Asia this past fall and winter I began producing my second feature documentary entitled “people mountain people sea” (ren shan ren hai). This piece will highlight the fast growing population in China and its never dying practice of traditional upkeep. The film will follow local families as they adjust to new societal standards from lower-, middle-, and upper-class perspectives.

 

What was your inspiration for this project in particular?

I wanted to create a cultural documentary with an original voice and unique subjects. Being able to connect with the people of China and other foreigners living there allowed me to see a different part of a communist nation often the recipient of political criticism and usually damned to be consciously corrupt.

 

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

My greatest resource in terms of execution is always “staying connected.” The more you feel, conceptualize (or produce) and essentially live, the better your content will be. This is a problem for some creatives who have a problem connecting to the now…the more present you are to yourself in any field, the more you will attract success. That’s my motto and I’m sticking with it!

 

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?

More outreach! I can honestly say that some of the best festivals are also the least known platforms out there…I get it: The more people that know [about it], the more money that goes out (to management, craft services, prizes and awards). But if you let the public know ahead of time that more than just films/ filmmakers will be in store, turnout and overall participation will increase.

 

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?

Sense of Expansion! And being able to innovate your own possibilities...I guess it's easier said than done, but when one door closes that means another one has just opened. Knowing how you fit in the industry will close any gaps early.

 

Favorite director/producer/actor?

Charles Burnett: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Burnett_(director)

 

How can people get in touch with you?

Website: www.midwestcinemagroup.wordpress.com

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrian.tyus.3

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs7va5c4FAGu2LvtVuOkVA/videos?view_as=public

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/thirdcoastcinema/videos


What would you ask our alums about their filmmaking experience?