Director . Producer
Words, sounds, and moving images are the elements from which storyteller Nyjia July has crafted her world. From an early age she knew that these were essential for her understanding of the world around her and of herself. At age nine she got her first taste of documentary with Marc Levin’s Bangin’ in Little Rock. In this film she saw unrest, youth fighting for a voice, and she saw a neighborhood that resembled her own. She saw that film could be used to give people a voice; it could lead to a conversation, an awakening, or resolve beyond the movie theatre. She decided to tell the stories of the people who would otherwise go unheard.
Nyjia is a Washington D.C. native and attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts with a major in Literary Media. She attended college at the University of the Arts with a major in documentary film and a minor in digital journalism. Nyjia has worked closely with filmmaker Marc Levin and the National Black Programming Consortium. She has previously worked on the PBS documentary THROUGH A LENS DARKLY, the Emmy-nominated BRICK CITY and the Emmy-winning FREEDOM RIDERS. She became a Corporation for Public Broadcast diversity fellow and a digital media producer with CAAM , the Center for Asian American Media. With CAAM Nyjia created original content and helped program their international film festival. She’s worked in development with MTV and has been an associate and segment producer with numerous production companies. Nyjia’s first documentary JUST US examines the epidemic of generational imprisonment, one of the biggest problems plaguing the criminal justice system. The film has screened across the country and received a certificate of honor from the Board of Supervisors from the city and county of San Francisco. In 2014 Nyjia was listed in the SOURCE Magazine as one of 25 women to watch. Her second documentary, LISTEN TO MY HEARTBEAT, has been awarded development support through ITVS’s Diversity Development Fund and the film will go into production in Fall 2016.
TREVITE A. WILLIS
Trevite A. Willis has produced a number of award-winning short and feature films including the Bahamian drama, “Children of God”, which aired on Showtime. “Children of God” had theatrical releases in the US, UK and The Netherlands. The film won 17 awards, and sold to 24 other territories. With “Children of God” director, she produced the award-winning short, “Passage”. Recently, Ms. Willis wrapped production on a documentary about the Baltimore mayoral election, “Rough Ride: Race for Mayor of Charm City”. She also has two projects in post: a human trafficking drama, “Cargo” and a supernatural thriller, “The Dark Rite”.
Ms. Willis previously produced the romantic comedy, “What a Man Wouldn’t Do for a Woman”, and the Black gay coming-of-age, “Blueprint”, which enjoyed success at festivals such as the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, OutFest, NewFest, and Frameline. The 2008 Columbia University short film, “Uncle Killa”, which she produced earned the director a DGA Best Student Film – African American award. Also “Uncle Killa” was selected as an HBO finalist at the American Black Film Festival, and picked up by HBO.
LEAH ROSS, PHD
Director of Photography
Leah attributes her obsession with documentation to the close relationship she had with her grandparents who were holocaust survivors. For her these relationships cultivated a deep sense of personal responsibility to history, humanity, and social justice. Aptly, she shot her first short during a sit-in at the State University of New York at Albany. She continued making and studying films during her Ph.D. program in Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. Leah began working in the industry after an internship with Super! Alright! in Austin in 2007, there she was privileged to work closely with very talented DPs including Tod Campbell and Peter Simonite, as well as director Hector Galan. Her personal films have screened at SXSW (Austin) and Rooftop Films (NYC) and her 35mm slide installations were shown during EAST (Austin) two years consecutively. Her career in Film/TV took her from Austin to Brooklyn, and most currently to Washington, DC.
Kelly Anderson is an award-winning independent producer and director of documentary and narrative films. In 2004 Kelly co-produced and co-directed EVERY MOTHER’S SON, a documentary for ITVS about mothers whose children have been killed by police officers and who have become national spokespeople on the issue of police brutality. EVERY MOTHER’S SON premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award, had its broadcast premiere on PBS’s P.O.V. and was nominated for an Emmy. In 2000 Kelly completed SHIFT, a one-hour drama for ITVS about the volatile relationship between a North Carolina waitress and a telemarketing prison inmate, which premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and aired on many PBS stations. Kelly's other documentaries include OUT AT WORK which was screened at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and was shown on HBO. Kelly Anderson's most recent film MY BROOKLYN is a documentary about the ways city government and corporations colluded to reshape Downtown Brooklyn, New York. Anderson is also a professor of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College in New York City.