Nefertite Nguvu is one of those up-and-coming filmmakers.
You may be familiar with Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball, Secret Life of Bees) works, and Ava Duvernay has taken everyone by storm with her talent (Selma, Queen Sugar). These two have expanded the path for more female filmmakers to create must see content. Nefertite Nguvu is one of those up-and-coming filmmakers. She is creating character driven content; with meaty scripts that will have you wanted more.
“Anytime anyone breaks a barrier it is an amazing thing for people who are coming up,” said Nguvu.
Right now, the demand for original African American films and scripted television content is at an all-time high.
“There are some incredible things happening in Black Independent Cinema. I know that there is a big question of diversity in Hollywood and inclusion and trying to change those power dynamics that exist in Hollywood which I think is an important and necessary plight. I’m an independent filmmaker and I think the independent film space allows for way more diverse stories and inclusive stories.”
Nefertite found her calling at a young age after watching a film from iconic filmmaker, Gordon Parks.
“I decided I wanted to be a film maker very early on. I’m from Newark, New Jersey and they have a black film festival for over 30 years now and my mother took me when I was little and I saw a film, The Learning Tree, by Gordan Park’s film and it blew me away and it affected me so deeply emotionally as a young person and I realized in that moment I wanted to do that.”
“Now that technology has changed it doesn’t take as much money to put together a film. It makes it easier for those who don’t come from money or have huge Hollywood budgets. They can get together and hold hands with their friends and make films essentially. I’m grateful for those changes. Black women filmmakers and story tellers are absolutely killing it right now. I’m really excited to be a part of that.”
The budding filmmaker got her big break working with Queen Latifah. She created a web series for Flavor Unit and Cover Girl. She has also worked with actor and rapper, Common on a documentary.
The talented filmmaker created her latest project, In the Morning, in a little over a week.
“We shot our film in 8 days, which is really, really ambitious. We had a limited budget and wanted to make it work,” said Nefertite.
The cast includes a Tony-nominated actor, and mix of newcomers and recognizable faces including: Emayatzy Corinealdi and Jacky Ido.
The film was inspired by the women in her life.
“I wanted to make a film that spoke to the women in my life; the women I know. For the women who often don’t get to see a reflection of themselves in a film. I wanted to create a film about relationships and intimacy that was character driven” said the filmmaker.
Nefertite has two other projects in the works. One in post-production and she is also working with Common again on an upcoming short film.
If you want to see a film that speaks deeply to you in terms of intimacy and relationships with a fresh take set in Brooklyn, In the Morning is a must see movie. The film is available on demand (Amazon, Vimeo on Demand, Comcast Xfinity).
The film has screenings in Philadelphia (Black Star Film Festival) May 26th, Chicago June 2nd, Los Angeles, and Newark New Jersey. You can also go to inthemorning-thefilm.com. for more information.
She also has some advice for aspiring female filmmakers.
“Creativity is free; do what you can with what you have,” said Nefertite.
The buzz-worthy filmmaker is definitely one to keep an eye on. Her thought provoking, authentic, and fresh perspective work is likely to become a household name much like Ava Duvernay’s work over time.