Kweli Legacy, LLC is the vision of two sisters who have a passion for inspiring others through storytelling.
How did Kweli Legacy get started?
My sister, Ciara was getting started in film school. At the time she had just finished converting a friends book to film project that I, Nikkea was serving as Producer of entitled The Heart. Shortly after she converted a book project I had written entitled Hostile. From there we decided to develop our company Kweli Legacy and have been producing film projects ever since.
How big is your production team (and who does that include)? How did you go about finding your team?
We have been blessed to have a wonderful team that believes in our vision and have been with us since day one. Our main crew consist of the following:
Nikkea Sharee – Executive Producer
Ciara J. Lewis – Writer/ Director/ Editor
Jessica Marie – Director of Photography
Shivawn Hill – Assistant Director
Nelson K. Johnson
Why did you two decide to pursue independent filmmaking?
We enjoy staying in control of our creative process. We also have mastered making quality films on an independent budget.
How do you recommend that filmmakers break in?
We would suggest that they educate themselves on the process and network in the industry. It’s always good to start as an intern in festivals and work your way up so that you can build connections.
What is the process of establishing a production company? Do you need a lawyer?
You don’t need a lawyer however it is always good to have someone available in the event that you run into any issues. We work very hard to keep our contracts and paperwork in line. We also worked with a consultant who assisted us with the start up process of establishing our LLC.
What forms are a must when going into production?
We make sure that everyone has contracts, confidentiality agreements and model release forms so that it is clear what expectations are on either side. We get all of this information prior to filming in the preproduction phase before scripts are even filled out.
Cost is always a factor how do you fund “green light” projects?
As we are an independent company we finance everything out of pocket. We keep our cost low by finding low cost/no cost locations. There are many crowd funding websites that can also be used, we prefer the self funding.
What legacy do you want Kweli Legacy to leave behind?
Kweli is Swahili for True. When we decided on our name the main concept was to stay true to ourselves in our art. We want to leave something behind that is more than just a name, our art. With that we have a desire to explore topics that are not commonly discussed in a way that invokes conversation.
You recently screened a portion of a project “Troy Michel’s Takeover” Tell us a little about that project?
Troy Michel’s Takeover is a fun spin on talk shows. Our host visit local businesses to learn the trade and eventually take over to see if she can make the cut. Jobs such as Comedian, Barber, Salsa instructor keep her busy.
What’s next for Kewli Legacy?
We are filming two projects in June. By Chance is short film that deals with a woman who is trying to find a woman left an anonymous suicide note in the restroom on the anniversary of her son’s death. Our next project is entitled Sis, Are You Ok? It will focus on traumatic experiences of African American women and how they can overcome them.
How can we keep in touch with you?