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Culture Spotlight Featuring Ralston Ramsay

Ralston Ramsay was born on January 2, 1995, in New York City. He is a former student at Morgan State University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Film/TV from Mercy College. Ralston has experience working in the corporate media world including NBC, FOX and Yahoo Inc.

He became inspired by many African American filmmakers such as Tyler Perry, John Singleton, and Spike Lee. He joined a non-profit organization called The Ghetto Film School in 2011, to learn the craft of filmmaking. In this program, he made a six-minute silent film called, “Mama’s Boy,” which won a $1,000 scholarship from Google. After, he went on to make a Target Commercial spot and then traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa to shoot a 15-minute short film called, “The Drum.”

He now has created his own production company where he creates his own independent content including 2013’s Hollywood & Vine award-winning film, “Young Love” and “Last Night of the Year” which won 2nd Place Best Feature Film at the Capital City Black Film Festival in August 2016.

His last film “By Any Means” ran the festival circuit from being featured in the Hip Hop Film Festival to the NewFilmmakers NY Festival.

Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival? I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the festival last year. I got to connect with many filmmakers that looked like me and I learned so much from them. The award show definitely had to be my highlight because I got to see us celebrate us. And many people in that room were dreamers, myself included. It gave me hope, motivation and reminded me that this is only the beginning.

Why are stories from the culture important? I believe stories from the culture are pivotal, especially in this day and age because Hollywood isn’t paying attention. Our time is now for our voices to be heard. I commend filmmakers from Tyler Perry to Lena Waithe to Ryan Coogler for having a platform to inspire us up-and-comers to continue and to keep going so that one day we can reach the top and add our stories into the mainstream film world as well.

What projects are you working on now? I have three shorts I’m currently in pre-production on. One is a romantic drama, another comedy, and the last one is my first thriller. Other than that, I’m continuing to write my feature-length scripts because I’m ready for that right door to open where I can have the opportunity to take my content to a whole new level.

Why do you think the Harlem film house and Hip Hop Film Festival is important? I believe it’s important because it recognizes us. They celebrate us and give us up-and-coming visionaries a platform to shine. I am truly grateful to the HHFF for giving me the opportunity to screen my film last year. I had a blast and I will continue to support the organization.

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