Culture Spotlight Featuring Kaili Turner
Kaili Y. Turner is a proud Nipmuc Native comedian, actress, writer, producer and puppeteer. She was born in Boston, MA and grew up between Mashpee and Boston, MA. Kaili graduated with her BA in theater at University of Massachusetts Boston and went onto graduate school and received her MFA in Acting at the Actors Studio Drama School in NYC. Kaili has performed in films, industrials, dance and sketch shows and theatre both regionally and locally in NYC. She has written multiple plays, sketches and bits. Kaili's full- length play Indian Country was first presented as a staged reading at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina as part of the Frank Silvera writers' workshop in 2015. It has since been a semi-finalist in the Eugene O’Neil playwright's festival, and for Native Voices at the Autry. It has also been presented as a staged reading for New Voices in Black Cinema’s theatre program and as part of the Eagle Projects play reading series. Kaili’s most recent project Fk’d Up & Fabulous, a comedic digital series is currently streaming on the TenoirTv app. She is the creator of Rock the Bells Comedy, a hip hop Variety Show that is a platform for BIPOC comics and up and coming musical guests to perform. She’s also a producer at Act Now Foundation/New Voices and the recent recipient of the SNL/Second City Scholarship. Currently, Kaili is working on a teen-aged horror-fantasy series based in the Native-American folklore she grew up in. To keep up with all things Kaili feel free to follow her on social media and check out her website.
Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival? I really enjoyed the festival and learned a lot, especially around marketing. The virtual networking was so cool and fun and I met some other really great creatives.
Why are stories from the culture important? Stories from the culture are important because as it has been stated so many times "Black people are not a monolith" It's important to see varied voices and ideas from the Black perspective. We should all have characters/stories we relate to and can learn or just be entertained by.
What projects are you working on now? I'm getting to work on Bubbles and bits a fun brunch with the cast of Fk'd Up & Fabulous that will also show a sneak peek of episode 2, I'm working on a new pilot about a group of Black women assassins, a thriller based on the Indigenous folklore I grew up on and turning a play I wrote into a short film. Your girl is busy!
Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important?The Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important because they are showcasing Black voices across genres, helping to get us the resources and access we need. And we need access!