Culture Spotlight Featuring B. Danielle Watkins
B. Danielle Watkins, award winning screen-writer, author and filmmaker, was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. Growing up in Buffalo she was exposed to many different variations of the arts including stage, and film. She began writing at the age of 9 starting with poems and short stories. In 2000, at the age of 15, Ms. Watkins had her first poem published in the “Poetry Gems” Collection presented by The Famous Poets Society. Her first novel “No Other Man (A Three Part Tragedy)” was released eleven years later on August 26, 2011, followed in succession by “Redeye (Book Two in the No Other Man Three Part Tragedy)”, “Forever Your Girl (Book Three in the No Other Man Three Part Tragedy)”. In May of 2013 she was officially announced as the head of the Creative Writing Department for M.PoWeR Productions LLC, based out of Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2015 Ms. Watkins stepped into the web series limelight with her screen adaptation of the novel by Natalie Simone entitled “Girls Just Don’t Do That” making her a highly regarded staple in the YouTube lesbian web series universe. January of 2016 marked another mile stone when Ms. Watkins launched her own production company Dream N 1 Productions, LLC. Based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, and in late 2016, Dream N 1 Productions produced its first major production entitled “Parallel the Documentary” based on B. Danielle Watkins’ time in Paducah, Kentucky at the inaugural Cinema Systers Film Festival as the first and only African-American Filmmaker. “Parallel The Documentary” has since been screened in two countries overseas, as well as the most recent full circle journey at Outreels Film Festival 2017, and won for Best Director and Audience Choice Award as it matriculated through the film festival circuit.
Ms. Watkins’ career went to the next level in June of 2017 becoming the first and only African-American woman to write, produce, and star in a REVRY Original Series which finished 2017 number 2 on the network. 2019 has proven the best is yet to come, after the documentary she worked on, “GRRRL: Beauty is the Beast”, received 4 Telly Awards and successfully launching the second season of her REVRY Original Series “3030”, Ms. Watkins added journalist to her resume by becoming a staff writer for the art magazine MIM Magazine.
She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a Graduate of Winston Salem State University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. With whom she held many positions, including a state executive board officer for the state of Nevada. For more visit www.bdaniellewatkins.com
Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival.
The Hip Hop Film Festival was DOPEEEEEEEEEE! Like first of all, being from NY (Buffalo, not the city but it is still an "Empire State of mind) anything NY I'm here for. I'd never heard of the festival, and my former publicist sent me the link and took the chance and submitted, and got into the festival. I loved every moment of it, and was pretty sick I couldn't attend in person.
Why are stories from the culture important?
Anything that showcases an underrepresented community is important. We need to see ourselves, our situations, our realties, our fantasies, and our fears on the big screen told in only the way we can tell them.
What projects are you working on now?
This coming Friday (September 4) I will begin production for my second black LGBTQ holiday feature film entitled "The Higher Spirit" which is slated to be released for the 2020 holiday season. My psychological thriller short film "Missing" is in post production, and my forerunner for the 2021 film festival season (and prayerfully second time in The Hip Hop Film Festival).
Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important?
Simple; it gives hope and a voice to those who Hollywood is trying to leave behind.