Episode 303 : Emelyn Stuart – Producer, Founder of Ocktober Film Festival & CEO, Stuart Cinema & Café

With nearly twenty producing credits under her belt, Emelyn Stuart is widely recognized by filmmakers as a go-to producer whose projects have won awards, gone viral and aired on network TV. After a decade in show business, her knowledge and contributions will forever have an indelible mark in the world of independent entertainment.
Back in 2009 Emelyn got a unique opportunity to use both her strong business acumen along with her love for problem solving. A friend had a script and wanted help with turning it into a film. Emelyn not only fulfilled her friend’s wish, but the film WINGS AND BEER went on to win numerous festival awards and provide high visibility for all involved.


During her journey as a filmmaker, Emelyn regularly left film festivals feeling like the experiences raised more questions than answers. In 2012 she decided to create a festival to address the nagging concerns she felt throughout her producing experiences.
The Ocktober Film Festival (OFF) made its debut in 2013 and was an immediate crowd favorite. Bursting with passionate filmmakers, enthusiastic movie goers, workshops, community initiatives, celebrities and press – this festival became a New York gem through which serious content creators could feel safe premiering their work. The festival maintains that reputation today.
Being the owner of both a film production company, and a thriving film festival presented Emelyn with yet more challenges. Staying true to her style, she combined her business knowledge with another one of her interests, community.
In September of 2018, Emelyn Stuart made history when she opened STUART CINEMA & CAFÉ in trendy Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It is the culmination of all the knowledge Emelyn has acquired from working closely with filmmakers over the last ten years. Besides the major accomplishment of owning the movie theater outright, with no loans – Emelyn did it without any financial partners or investors. She is the first Afro Latina to accomplish this feat in the entire borough of Brooklyn.

Emelyn Stuart continues to demonstrate the importance of shattering glass ceilings in entertainment. Her example is one to which many young girls can look to for inspiration and encouragement.

Listen HERE and learn as we chat about:
Starting Stuart Cinema Cafe
What do you bring to the table as a filmmaker
Opening doors for minority filmmakers
Starting where you are as a filmmaker

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