Avril Speaks has been carving out her path as a bold, innovative content creator for several years, not only as a producer and director but also during her former days as a professor at Howard University. Avril produced the award-winning film Jinn, which premiered in Narrative Competition at SXSW and won Special Jury Recognition for Writing. Jinn gained distribution through MGM/Orion Classics and continues to be seen throughout the world. Avril has also produced several films including Hosea and the upcoming comedy Dotty & Soul, starring Leslie Uggams, Gary Owen, David Koechner and Margot Bingham. Her latest projects include the South African film African America, which will make its worldwide debut on Netflix this summer, and the docu-series Black America Is…, which has received support from The Blackhouse Producer’s Lab, the CNN/Film Independent Docu-Series Intensive, and the Kettering Foundation.
Listen in to the Podcast HERE
Avril was an Associate Producer on the TNT docu-series American Race and has helped produce both scripted and unscripted content for BET, Coca Cola, Essence, and others. She was recently a producing consultant for Wayfarer Studios’ Six Feet Apart Experiment film project, and was producer of the short film Black Prom, which aired on Netflix Film Club. Currently, Avril serves as Director and Co-EP of the docu-series Strange Fruit: The Untold Keith Warren Story, which will air on Discovery+.
What we Covered On this Episode?
How did you pursue film? What were your actionable steps?
Why do you think we don’t see more women in the space of producing and what skills do you need to wear that hat? How do we show up better?
Faith and Creativity. I saw that you studied, Theology and Film, why was this important for you to study the two together and how has it shaped your creativity?
Is it important for us to apply for producer labs or fellowships? What does this do for our careers?
Do you have to move to LA to be successful in film as a producer/or director?
What stories are important for you to tell now and why?
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