Culture Spotlight Featuring Tony Chennault
In 2014, Tony won “Best Director” at the Ekiah Film Festival. His Philadelphia roots have allowed him to have a wide range of experiences that help shape his perspective on life. Tony has continued to build his resume as his screenplay “Dollar Party” won the Act Up! Screenwriters competition at the Hip Hop Film Festival. His online series “Oldhead: The Series” has accrued over 1,500,000 views and continues to be screened in web festivals. He continues to develop his craft as he keeps producing impactful content that can inspire the youth and challenge societal ideals.
Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival? Being apart, the Hip-Hop Film Festival was an excellent experience. I was able to receive feedback from experienced industry professionals on ways to improve my work as a filmmaker. Also, I was able to network with other emerging filmmakers as well.
Why are stories from the culture important? Stories from the culture are important because it gives people who are not apart of our culture a realistic perspective of who we are as people. As filmmakers, we have a great responsibility to make narratives that consist of truth, humility, and the ability to drive the culture forward. My primary mission as a filmmaker is to create holistic stories that show people of color as mosaic individuals and have the ability to drive social change. That's my "Why." Every filmmaker should know why.
What projects are you working on now? I'm currently getting ready to go into production this summer for my first feature film, Dollar Party, in which I won the best screenplay competition back in 2018 at the Hip Hop Film Festival. I'm developing a TV show as well.
Why do you think the Harlem film house and Hip Hop Film Festival is important? I think it's important because it gives young content creators a voice and helps them build relationships with people in the industry. It's important to have platforms such as the Hip Hop Film Festival to assure tomorrow's generation of filmmakers will have the proper resources to succeed.