Culture Spotlight Featuring Langston Williams
Langston A. Williams is a graduate of the University of New Orleans film program hailing from Gulfport, Mississippi. For undergrad, he received a dual degree in Theatre Arts and Mass Communications with a focus in Broadcast from Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and he minored in Speech Communications through Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
To date, he's written, directed, and edited 7 shorts and 2 music videos. The most recent short Stay Woke had a strong run on the festival circuit where it was accepted into 44 film festivals and accumulated 21 wins. In May of last year, Stay Woke screened at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Some months later, it won a BAFTA qualifying film festival.
Langston Williams now works as an assistant to various actors and directors on films that come to New Orleans while simultaneously producing and working on getting his first feature made
Tell us about your experience at Hip Hop Film Festival? Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to attend the festival, but I was honored to be included in the programming!
Why are stories from the culture important? Sadly, we as a people for so long have not been the gatekeepers of film. In today's society where the ability to make a film is so accessible, it is important to get out stories that have for so long been suppressed and repressed. The world doesn't know our story from us. Perception is reality and if the world perceives African Americans one way - the way media has portrayed us for hundreds of years - then our reality will forever be a negative one. Filmmaking is our opportunity to cast our vote and weigh in on the general perception of our culture. We have a duty to give it justice in representation.
What projects are you working on now? For the last 3 years, I've made my living working as an assistant to directors and actors that come to New Orleans, LA to film. From these experiences, I've been building my contacts and honing my skills preparing for my first feature. I have about 7 scripts ready to go now! First, up will probably be a romantic comedy called Getting Some. You'll be hearing more about it very soon!
Why do you think the Harlem film house and Hip Hop Film Festival is important? As I previously mentioned with representation, this film festival has been instrumental in allowing up and coming filmmakers a chance to tell their stories. It allows the opportunity for valuable networking as well as an opportunity to showcase our abilities to the world!