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  • Writer's pictureEdwin Suriel

Culture Spotlight Featuring Jermaine J. Williams

Jermaine J. Williams is a man on a mission to inspire and advocate for the issues that plague the Black Community. As a community activist, hailing from Pensacola, FL, Williams has built quite a rapport among the political arena with his uncanny ability to speak out for those in his community by coordinating campaigns, rallies, and more. After overcoming a 13 year battle with substance abuse, it was the grace of God that has delivered him from desiring drugs and alcohol. He has been sober for over five years and is now on a new path. In his directorial debut , Jermaine J Williams is tasked to tell the story of rise & fall, addiction & redemption, where he happens to be the subject matter, in the powerful documentary I Had To Change.

Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival? I hate to use the word amazing to describe my experience at The Hop Hop Film Festival, because it's not a big enough word for me. There's no word in the dictionary to describe the life changing experience I had during this festival. CR Capers is an absolute super hero. My one on one conversations with her, watching her work like her hair is on fire, I learned so much from her. And I don't believe she'll never know the full extent on how instrumental she is for my career. I'm forever grateful for this festival.

Why are stories from the culture important? Authentic stories from the culture is needed now more than ever! Our culture is so gentrified, watered down, & commercialized. We need stories from those to become the voice of the voiceless. The voiceless who look at our stories that somehow become misrepresented.

What projects are you working on now? Due to the success of the Boss Pitch event that is a part of the Hip Hop Film Festival, I'm preparing for my meetings with television networks and industry insiders. I discovered a love of show running. So I believe that's where my focus will be for the immediate future.

Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important? The HFH & HHFF are beyond important because they put filmmakers, like myself, in a position to let their voice be heard, while empowering them with the education to sustain success. I have been apart of many Film Festivals, where they screen your work, give a award and applause and... Poof it's over. HFH & HHFF actually put you in position to materialize your dreams. And that can't be understated.

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