The movies we see in theaters are often wrapped up in glamour and prestige. We think of the big Hollywood stars as being so distant from the general public that they might as well live on a different planet entirely. Afterall, they act in fictional movies with fictional worlds. We've generally accepted that achieving this kind of celebrity is virtually impossible for anyone, let alone marginalized groups. A Theater Near You is a part of my effort to change that.
Earlier in 2020 I was accepted into the top MFA program for filmmaking at the University of Southern California, where many of Hollywood's best have attended. As someone who has overcome a slew of racial and socioeconomic barriers to even gain admission, I want to make films that tear down those barriers and empower people like me. Taking inspiration from my friends, I’ve reimagined popular film genres with the stars from my life. Each poster highlights black-identifying people who are worthy of their own movie. During the planning process, I surveyed and spoke with eleven black people about their favorite movies and genres. I wanted to find out what the people closest to me considered empowering. The people I spoke with demonstrated their creativity and expressed a range of interests that in no way were limited by their black identity. A Theater Near You demonstrates that the exclusivity of the film industry only hinders its own success. Compelling characters are not on another planet, they are all around us.