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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Armstead

Culture Spotlight Featuring Katherine Marie

Katherine Marie is a graduate of William Esper Studios and started her career as an actor and stunt performer. Appearing in tv shows such as The Get Down on Netflix, Blue Bloods on CBS, and Godfather Of Harlem on Epix. Marie made her directorial debut with the short film Purrdicament, a finalist in the Audience Awards film festival. Soon after, she directed the short documentary A Growing Boy, produced the award-winning horror short film, And Then There Was Damien, and is set to direct her first full feature film, Between The Lines, later this year.

Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival. This is our second time submitting and being accepted into the HHFF. Since we have been privileged enough to be a part of this film festival, the experience has been stellar. My producing partner, Chauncey enjoyed the round table discussion (I hope they have more of them next year). The screening at The Schomburg was an absolute honor, and we felt the essence of Harlem. While we understand that every project could not get an in-person screening, it was still an important experience for the festival to share other great films online.

Why are “stories from the culture” worthy of a platform? Truth be told, our culture is the culture. We have influenced so many people from around the world, and the creators and makers in our culture don’t get enough credit for contributing to the culture. We need to showcase our voices, stories, pride, fears, and values from people who look like us. Denzel Washington once said, while talking about the movie Fences, that a black person knows what it feels like to have a hot comb pressed up against their hair. We know what makes the Culture of ours so unique and it takes a unique person from this space to give it a voice and a platform.

Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important? HFH and HHFF are important because of the value they bring to independent filmmakers. This feels like one of the only true film festivals that really showcases independent artists. Since my partner and I have been a part of the HHFF we have seen talented people that we may never have seen before if it weren’t for this festival. I understand putting a festival together for people that have something to say can be challenging and without HFH and HHFF we wouldn’t get the chance to support others in this business or have a place to showcase our work.

What projects are you working on now? Our next project will be our first feature film, written by Chauncey Johnson and directed by me, Katherine Marie. We have some very talented actors in this project, and we can not wait to share this with the world. We’re also in the process of creating an anthology series based on our short film, “Control” which was in this year's HHFF.

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