The following blog and video piece originally ran on the website Dear Producer and is shared here courtesy of that website’s editor Rebecca Green, a Film Independent Fellow and Creative Advisor. Excerpts from Dear Producer appear on our blog regularly.
Avril Speaks discusses seeking out non-traditional financiers to tell the stories Hollywood overlooks, the need for a greater system of women mentoring other women, and the struggle producers face due to our profession not having a clear path for working up the ladder.
Avril has several years of experience as a filmmaker to include credits as a producer, writer, director, and editor. She was an Associate Producer on the TNT docu-series American Race, and is the lead producer on the feature film JINN, which premiered in Narrative Competition at SXSW in 2018 and won Special Jury Recognition for Writing. JINN continues to win awards at festivals around the country, and recently gained distribution through MGM/Orion Classics.
She is currently one of the producers for the upcoming feature film, Hosea, which is in post-production, while preparing to produce other films including Nijla Mu’min’s follow-up film Mosswood Park, Yolonda Ross’s film Scenes from our Marriage, and the South African drama African America. She is a Film Independent Producing Lab Fellow for the project Noor, a winner of the 2018 Movie Magic Producer Award, and in 2019 she was selected as a Rotterdam Producing Lab Fellow, where she gained insight into the world of international co-productions. She also worked as a Production Manager for Scripted Programming at BET Networks.
As a former film professor at Howard University, Avril also recognizes the value of education for filmmakers. In conjunction with Film Independent, she has worked to coordinate international film programs such as Global Media Makers and the inaugural Hollywood Foreign Press Association Filmmaker Residency. She is also a contributing writer for DearProducer.com, a resource created by Rebecca Green to amplify the voice and community of independent producers. She has directed two feature films The Round Table, and the award-winning film Sophisticated Romance. For more information, click here.
Trailer for Jinn, produced by Avril Speaks, below:
More from Film Independent…