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I am extremely excited about directing my first narrative film about a subject that has been a festering wound in the African-American community and rarely spoken about publicly.
NEW YORK, NY, May 12, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Award-winning filmmaker Nicole Franklin will be directing her first narrative feature film, Title VII, about a prevalent, yet rarely discussed issue: same-race employment discrimination. The film is a co-production of EPIPHANY, Inc. -- Franklin's multimedia company -- and FDUFilm, the film program of Fairleigh Dickinson University. The multicultural production will include a professional crew staffed by female department leaders.
Title VII tells the story of a skilled black woman who lands a technology firm position over the objection of the company's black CEO. She challenges the corporate culture, forcing the CEO to face his personal demons--a lifelong struggle with his skin color. The screenplay was co-written by Franklin and Craig T. Williams, adapted from the novel Within the Walls by Daisy M. Jenkins.
"I am extremely excited about directing my first narrative film about a subject that has been a festering wound in the African-American community and rarely spoken about publicly," said Franklin. "I was attracted to the material, because of a demoralizing personal experience I had in the beginning of my career."
The film will be shot July 2016 on the FDU campus in Florham Park, NJ and will serve as a learning laboratory for FDU film students.
"I am also thrilled that the film will be a hands-on learning experience for FDU film students," stated Franklin. Howard Libov, FDUFilm Chair added, "At FDUFilm we're building a tradition of working with area filmmakers to make professional productions, feature films, web series, and other content creation. Since meeting Nicole Franklin just more than a year ago, I've been eager to work with her, and to see if we could find a project to work on together - to enable FDUFilm students to work alongside Nicole and the professional colleagues she could bring to such a production."
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned employment discrimination based on sex, race, color and national origin. Yet, discrimination is still part of US corporate culture 52 years later. Franklin has launched IndieGoGo fundraising and social media campaigns and is finding that the film's subject has resonance. People have been providing testimonies of their experiences of same-race harassment on the job.
Franklin has put together an accomplished ensemble for the production.
The cast will be led by:
Two-time Spirit Award nominee Yolanda Ross -- Go for Sisters (John Sayles), Stranger Inside, Treme (HBO), Whitney (Lifetime)
Benton Greene -- Blue Bloods, "Father Comes Home from the Wars" (Suzan-Lori Parks' 2015 Kennedy Award Winner), The Following, Gossip Girl, Hostages
The crew will be headed by award-winning Director of Photography Cybel Martin (And...Scene, a Woman's Journey to Walk Again, Flora's Garment Bursting into Bloom, Orange Bow, Sangam.) Martin was the first African-American woman to receive a MFA in Cinematography from New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
"The film has an unusual dramatic premise set in a multicultural firm. It provides a unique opportunity to discuss an age-old problem, while, at the same time, telling an unpredictable love story," stated Franklin. "We think diverse audiences will recognize these characters' conflicts in their on communities and get a conversation going."
Franklin is known for films that provoke discussion and open dialogue on race. Her process for Title VII is rooted in transparency from script development to post. The film is in pre-production. The script will have a free public reading with public feedback welcomed.
Nicole Franklin is an award-winning filmmaker and news director of kweliTV, the interactive streaming platform and app that covers the global black community. Her 25 years in the industry encompass being a television director, stage manager, editor, educator, public speaker, web event host and contributing writer to such publications as The Good Men Project, Toronto-based ByBlacks.com and NBCBLK. For 16 years, her company EPIPHANY Inc. has been producing independent films for cable networks including BET, FUBU TV, IFC, Nickelodeon, Showtime, and Sundance Channel. She has been a member of Emmy winning news teams on stations, as well as programs for CBS News and NBC News.
FDUFilm approaches teaching film/TV/original content production from both the artistic and professional point-of-view. FDUFilm students work with the most up-to-date professional industry equipment from HD digital cameras and industry standard lighting and grip equipment to Avid, Premier and Final Cut editing software, as well as AfterEffects and Entertainment Partners production software. Intimate classes and a low student-to-faculty ratio allow students to shoot films in their freshmen year. The program is adapted to better reflect the reality of the industry, resulting in a higher percentage of FDUFilm graduates finding professional work within a year after graduation.
Title VII Partners include:
Harlem Brewing Company
ImageNation Cinema Foundation
Minority Women Veterans
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