By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, M.Ed.
Houston- In our world, there are so many talented people, who may be overlooked, or may feel as if they don’t have a chance to showcase their talents. Many people may also feel that Hollywood is the only route in getting others to take notice of their work. Well, J.O. Malone, who is the founder of J.O. Malone Studios, thinks differently. His studio is hosting a National Black Film Festival, which will make its debut in Houston, Texas. In this festival, people will have the opportunity to speak with key people that are already in the film making business, learn trade secrets, and build essential relationships that will help take their film making skills to the next level. People will also be able to submit their films with the chance of winning different awards.
J.O. Malone is from Pearland, Texas, and is a graduate from Prairie View A&M University. He obtained a bachelors degree in Mass Communications in 2012. In school, he found his creative niche, started a few organizations, and created his business. He has a strong love and passion for filmmaking, and loves creating new things. At his studio, he provides a working space for other filmmakers, photographers, and will even offer his space to host different events. He expressed that when people visit his studio, people “can’t help but to get inspired, and to want to create and do something. I think it’s a creative space for creators to create.”
In addition to his studio space, he wanted to offer something that other creative minds could benefit and grow from. Because many people feel as if they have to make a journey to LA or New York to make it in the industry, J.O. wanted to bring Hollywood to Houston by inviting different actors, actresses, casting directors, and film makers to not only showcase, but to help improve and support the beautiful work of others. Furthermore, this festival is specifically catering to minorities in order to provide a voice, a platform, and better opportunities that may not have been given to them. In addition to, this event is not just about showcasing talent, but empowering others through visuals.
The biggest thing that J.O. Malone wants people to take from this festival, is quality. He wants film makers to learn how to make quality films, learn how to find and build great relationships with investors, learn how to cast for a film, understand ethics, and even learn the different positions on a film set just to name a few. “This film festival is creating a film culture, and through that, our stories will truly be told, and we will create people who will change the culture in their own home through our films and our message,” expressed Malone.
Furthermore, Paula Jai Parker, who is an American actress, comedian, and director, will host the film festival. She has had supporting roles in the films High Crimes, Phone Booth, and Hustle and Flow, and even starred in the movie My Baby’s Daddy. She is also known for being the voice of Trudy Proud from the Proud Family, which was an animated series created by Disney. This is only just a snapshot of the work that Paula Jai Parker has done thus far. She has had great success in the industry, and she plans to help others in the industry as they try to accomplish their film goals. When people come to the festival, they will not only be inspired, but will also have the opportunity to learn a lot of things from her.
At this festival, many people will leave with great information about film making, and will have the chance to win different awards for their films. People, who have a love for film, should attend this festival. It is a phenomenal way to showcase talent, but to also have a true chance of growing as a filmmaker. There are many dates and deadlines, and people are encouraged to submit their films early.
These dates include:
October 14, 2016- Early bird Deadline
January 6th, 2017- Regular Deadline
February 6th, 2017- Notification Date
April 5th-9th Event Date
If you are interested in participating, and would like to know more about this festival, you can view their website at http://nationalblackfilmfestival.com/.