DBFF Institute: DBFF22 panel discussion
Indie Filmmaking: 2022 and Beyond
We take a deep dive with several indie filmmakers to uncover what makes a successful production and distribution for an indie film.
Available to view until 2/6/2022: Watch here
The panelists are:
DeMarcus Bailey a native of Tyler Tx, founded JF Bailey Productions after the passing of his late grandfather in 2004. Due to the overwhelming response after he produced his first stage play called Chains, he began writing a show called Prodigal Son, which sold out at the Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler,TX. Over the years he continued to write and produce plays totaling 10 plays written and 15 produced.
In 2017 DeMarcus wrote and produced his first film Love&Drugs, which was picked up by Maverick Entertainment, and is the top seller till this day.
Since then he has written Black Diamond
Love&Drugs 2, Christmas On My Block, Candy. Directed Heavy
He has his 1st film under his production company that he was the executive producer, called Drop Spot which will be releasing soon
M. Legend Brown
M. Legend is an award-winning self-taught writer, producer, and director from Terrell, Texas. Who has made five feature films, “Hiding in Plain Sight,” “Steps of Faith,” “A Man Called Jon”, “A Heart that Forgives” and “The Golden Voices” along with 5 short films, Dymora, Why Do I look Like My Father, Platonic Bomb, April Love Song and Kissed by the Devil. I’ve also created to sitcoms, “The Greg Ellis Show and the “Perfect Family.”
All of my films have won over 50 awards and have been accepted to over 100 film festivals.
Brown is gearing up to produce his 6th feature film in 2021. M. Legend is a member of the Dallas Screenwriters Association, Texas Motion Picture Alliance, Dallas Indie Club and the Dallas Producer Association.
M. Legend is an ambassador at the Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce “Rising Star program. He has also shared his knowledge with Skyline High School, Carter High School and Roosevelt High School in Dallas, Texas.
He continues to work with local schools and organization to bring filmmaking to underprivileged children
You can find any of his films on Tubi.com
Filmmaker Arthur Muhammad was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He received his Bachelor’s in Film and Media from Southern Methodist University and his Master’s from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Mr. Muhammad’s contributions have been instrumental in the development of movies, commercials, television shows and music videos.
Mr. Muhammad’s first short film C’Ya won Best Film in the Dallas Black Film Festival and the 21st Annual Scottsdale Film Festival. His first feature film, Solitaire also won Best Film in the Dallas Black Film Festival, and went on to be domestically distributed by Maverick Entertainment. He followed Solitaire up with Sweet Justice which was distributed by Wells Go and premiered on Netflix.
Mr. Muhammad was honored for his screenplay Carter High at the Cinema City International Film Festival’s Screenwriter Awards in Los Angeles. Carter High is the long awaited true story of the 1988 Carter High Cowboys, the most feared high school football team in Texas during this period. It is the Carter High story that inspired the blockbuster football movie Friday Night Lights and the later produced TV series.
Some of his movies have been enjoyed by audiences from around the world thanks to their placement on Netflix, BET, and theatrically. First Impression and Carter High are currently airing on BET and Netflix.
Kelly Gray- Bibino
Kelly Gray – Bobino, is an award winning film writer, producer and director. “I was producing several micro budget films for local directors in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I needed to organize and build my own company”. Reda Jo Films was established in 2012 as an independent film company. Reda Jo films is solely owned and operated by Kelly Gray-Bibino. Redajofilms is a small independent film company based out of Dallas, Texas. Filmmakers utilize the small multimedia company to provide film consulting services, hire cast, crew and provide various production services to complete short and feature films.
Recently Mrs. Bobino decided to return to Film school. She enrolled at the University of Texas at Arlington in 2018 and graduated Spring 2021 with a Master of Fine Arts in Cinematic Studies. Her artistic approach and passion for humanizing people of color is evident in her Thesis project titled Tati the Great. This short poetic documentary about the life of Atatiana Jefferson, a slain African american woman killed in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. The documentary will screen at the Charlotte Black film festival in June 2021.
Kelly is inspired by nostalgic events and stories from her childhood. She shares childhood stories with her students about growing up in the South during 1970’s and 80’s and remembering the birth of Hip Hop. Kelly enjoys spending free time with her family. She loves to study history and various cultures. Mrs. Bobino currently teaches Audio Visual and Film at Cedar Hill high school in Cedar Hill, Texas.
She seeks a career in academia at a post secondary institution where she can continue to teach and mentor students focusing on Cinema studies specializing in African American Film History. Her plans are to continue to create fiction and non-fiction films that uplift and educate all people utilizing her love for Fine Arts. Her work is about building bridges to create diverse communities and using art as a form or cultural expression and healing. Her book Close Up is her first published work as an author. Close Up documents her obstacles and successes while producing Tati The Great.
Purchase tickets to watch Tati The Great here
Seckeita Lewis, is a writer, director and filmmaker from the South Side of Chicago, now based in Texas. While working as a corporate marketing executive, she explored her fascination with film and co-produced and directed two short films that were recognized by Texas regional festivals with best film nominations. She then co-founded Lewis Taylor Productions with her husband, Brandon Lewis, and directed her first feature film, Jerico. This inaugural feature debuted at the International Festival Du Film Pan Africain De Cannes, France in 2016. It went on to win 14 festival awards, including 5 best films and the Best New Director Award from the Women’s International Film Festival. It was nationally distributed in retail and streaming platforms in 2018.
Seckeita has been featured in the Shadow and Act’s Black Female Filmmakers Speak series and has spoken on panels on film diversity. She is now focused on continuing to develop thought provoking projects, beginning with her second feature, “ImPossible”, co-written with her husband, and inspired by his struggle with diabetes and obesity
Watch Seckeiita’s VoicexVision highlight presented by DBFF & Panavision
Adrian L. Neely, Jr.
Adrian L. Neely, Jr. is a filmmaker with more than 25 years in the business. As a former NATPE Faculty Fellow, Adrian specializes in scriptwriting, shooting, directing, and editing. This past year, he gaffed two feature films and one short and acted as director of photography on a short film featuring Irma P. Hall and the music video for one of the features mentioned above. Known as a ‘one-man crew,’ Adrian has set out to perfect the art of the one-hour short film shoot. Adrian teaches audio/visual technology and holds a Masters in Communication Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor in Radio/Television/ Film from Sam Houston State University. Adrian is married to Dr. Michelle Neely, and they have three children, Taylor (19), Joshua (15), and Micah (14). The Neelys reside in Cedar Hill, Texas.