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  • Writer's pictureArmiel Chandler

Culture Spotlight Featuring Vernon Williams

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

Vernon Williams is a Screenplay writer/director who has been in the entertainment business for over 25 years. He started in the music business, then transitioned to the film side, first as a Production Assistant working on sets with legendary directors such as Hype Wiliams, Benny Boom, and Director X. From there he transitioned into acting, appearing as leads in numerous commercials and landing smaller roles in films such as Notorious, The Dave Chapelle Show, and HBO series Boardwalk Empire to briefly name a few. 

After studying the art form from both sides of the camera and numerous positions (Director, Assistant Director, Cameraman, Editor, Etc.) and working on dozens of projects, he created and completed production of two of his own projects one titled MIDLIFE CRISIS(2018)(which was nominated for two awards) and a recently completed family sitcom titled HOME CONFINEMENT. 

Mr. Williams has been tapped to direct various projects in the near future and while in between projects he teaches film classes at non-profit The Afrikan Poetry Theatre in Queens New York. He also is constantly honing his skills as he is currently enrolled in an advanced directing class taught by legendary director Ron Howard.

Tell us about your experience at Hip Hop Film Festival?

I loved the experience at the Hip Hop Film festival.  There were lots of other black filmmakers to network with which was nice and the venue was very elegant giving the event a very prestigious feel.  The event flowed relatively smoothly and everyone seemed entertained.

What projects are you working on now?

I recently completed a 5 episode sitcom called HOME CONFINEMENT.  It is a family show about an ex-con who is released from prison and is now on house arrest.  Knowing he can't leave the house his family makes him the official babysitter of three mischievous kids(2 girls, 1 boy).  We will be showing episodes at various film festivals throughout the country- Hip-Hop Film Festival included- and shopping for financing and distribution in hopes of bringing this show to the masses.

Why are stories from the culture important?

Stories from our culture are important because our culture is American culture!  Our culture sets trends that other cultures have leached off of and monetized for years while the originators have been left out of the benefits of what comes naturally to us.  Then when others try to tell stories from our culture, it is often so distorted and misrepresentative of us that it comes off a mockery!  Our culture is rich with stories that entertain the mind, body, and soul and at the same time enrich our lives.

Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival is important?

The Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important because there are so few outlets for people of color to show their work in the film world, especially urban stories.  The majority of film festivals don't cater to our stories unless they fit into their box.  Our culture's stories are so wide-ranging and diverse that they could never be subjected to the restrictions of most film festivals.  Thank you Harlem Film House and Hip-Hop Film Festival for giving us a platform to tell our stories the way we want to tell them!

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