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The most minor acts of kindness can create significant change. A Guest Perspective by Kameishia Wooten.



My path to become a director was an unconventional one, as I initially planned to attend law school. My first foray into the world of directing was during a production class, where the process of creating my initial short film ignited a fervent passion within me. This passion not only became my medium for creative expression but also allowed me to weave the threads of my upbringing into the fabric of my work. I wholeheartedly dedicated myself to this craft, went to get my MFA at Columbia College Chicago film school. Since then, I have never looked back.


I am currently navigating the film festival circuit with my award-winning short film about 3 teens awaiting their pregnancy results in an LA high school, "Choices," which is now being showcased at its third Oscar-qualifying film festival, the Pan African Film Festival, this month. I am in the process of developing a feature-length adaptation of this project, with aspirations of securing the necessary backing to bring this project to fruition. Additionally, I am eager to explore further opportunities to direct episodic television, aiming to expand my portfolio and continue my creative endeavors in directing.


To me, being a Black filmmaker signifies the profound privilege and responsibility of empathizing with and deeply understanding individuals from underrepresented communities. It encompasses a deep appreciation for cultural diversity and a commitment to honoring these differences through my creative work as a director. This role is not just about creating; it's about weaving the rich tapestry of our shared human experience into the narratives, ensuring that the voices and stories of those often marginalized are heard and celebrated.


On a personal level, I am always on the lookout for ways to make a positive impact on the world, whether through meaningful initiatives or simple daily actions. Before the pandemic, this commitment led me to Rwanda, where I had the privilege of volunteering and teaching business development classes in Kigali's communities. Whenever the chance arises to give back, I strive to provide resources and knowledge that can mitigate the hardships others endure, convinced that even the most minor acts of kindness can create significant change.


As an artist, authenticity and inspiration are the cornerstones of my work. I strive to tell stories that not only entertain but also open minds and hearts to new perspectives. Currently, I am working on a project that explores the theme of reproductive freedom. Through this project, I aim to challenge and ultimately dismantle the stigma and shame associated with abortion and teen pregnancy. My goal is to foster a more compassionate and understanding dialogue around these issues, contributing to a world where individuals feel supported and empowered in their choices.


At the moment, I find myself deeply inspired by Ava DuVernay and James Samuel, two filmmakers who are unapologetically telling their stories in ways that are both bold and beautiful. Their approach to storytelling not only challenges the status quo but also captivates audiences with its compelling narratives and stunning visuals. Their work serves as a powerful reminder of the impact that fearless creativity can have, encouraging me to embrace my own voice and vision in the art of directing.


Among the luminaries in Ryan Murphy's world, Millicent Shelton stands out as a pivotal figure in my journey. She was the first director I had the privilege to shadow after moving to Los Angeles. What made this experience invaluable was her openness and generosity in sharing her creative process while working. She ensured she was always available to answer my questions while on set, setting a high bar for mentorship that I've found later to be rare after having other shadowing experiences.


Tina Mabry is another artist whose career trajectory has deeply inspired me. I've observed her flourish from her early work on "Mississippi Damned" to her contributions as a writer and director in episodic television, culminating in her exceptional work on "Pose." Tina embodies talent and versatility, effortlessly navigating between different roles in the industry. Her ability to craft compelling narratives and bring them to life on screen is something I admire greatly. Her journey is a testament to the resilience and creativity that defines the best in directing, making her one of the most gifted individuals I've had the honor of learning from.


Kameishia Wooten shadowed Chad Lowe on Lone Star.

Her project, Choices, was selected for the inaugural WIF/Google Shorts Lab, supported by Google.

Kameishia was a multi-hyphenate mentee in the 2020 & 2021 Women In Film mentorship program, 2021 AWD Black Directors Initiative fellow and 2019 Women In Film/Sundance Financing Intensive fellow. Originally 

from Goldsboro, North Carolina, Kameishia earned her Master’s in Film Production from Columbia College Chicago and is a proud UNC Chapel Hill undergrad alum. She got her start in the entertainment industry working in both production and business affairs at major studios such as Disney, Paramount, and Netflix.

 

Kameishia lives in Los Angeles with her longtime partner and mini golden doodle. She occasionally performs with the LA Lawyer Philharmoic as a classical vocalist.







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