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NEEMA BARNETTE 

Writer, Producer, Executive Producer of BLACK HISTORY MINI DOCS.

 

Prominent, innovative and prolific, director and producer Neema Barnette has engaged audiences with a body of compelling socially- and politically-charged work that defies the narrow stereotypes of African-Americans usually depicted in entertainment. Working in both television and film, Barnette has earned the respect of peers and critics alike by winning countless accolades.

 

Neema changed the game by becoming the FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN IN TELEVISION TO DIRECT A SITCOM and the FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO RECEIVE A THREE PICTURE DEAL FROM A MAJOR STUDIO in history.  Neema has directed over 50 hours of network television, 10 movies for television and four feature films including CIVIL BRAND and WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED ON THE 7th DAY.

 

Neema Barnette has won many Best Directing awards including a EMMY AWARD and several Emmy Nominations, a Directors Guild of America Award, an NAACP Image Award & 3 Nominations, the Delta Lilly Award, an Adelco Award, a International Monitor Award for THE COSBY SHOW and the PEABODY AWARD. 

 

Her most recent feature film “WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED ON THE 7th DAY” recieved an NAACP IMAGE AWARD nomination for BEST INDEPENDENT FEATURE in 2012  Neema’s feature films have also garnered awards. CIVIL BRAND won the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) HBO Audience Blockbuster Award, the Urban World Film Festival Audience & Best Picture Award and was an official selection of both the Sundance & AFI Film Festivals.  In addition, Neema is the very proud receiptant of The Peabody Award, An Reel Sistas Trailblazer Award and the Sojourner Truth Award at Cannes.

REED R. McCANTS  

Creator, Producer, Writer, Director, Editor, Narrator of BACK HISTORY MINI DOCS

 

Reed, a 30-year veteran of film, television and stage, has always been committed and devoted to preserving and nurturing the Arts in the African-American community.  A product of Harlem in New York City, Reed feels it is essential to give back. Subsequently he has created or co-founded two theatre companies in New York and Los Angeles. Rainbow Connection Theatre (1986 - 1988), Rebirth Drama Company (1989 - 1993) and he was the founder of the Live Theatre Gang (1996 - 2006). During these tenures, he has performed, produced and or directed well over 200 theatre productions.

 

He appeared in over 50 television commercials with leads in Xerox, Humira, McDonalds, Budweiser, General Motors and the first Diet Coke commercial for television. As a actor Reed has appeared in Hill Street Blues, A Different World and several films for television included Disney's Justin Case, Run for the Dream: The Gail Deavers Story and Road Raiders costarring opposite Bruce Boxleitner. Reed has also starred in such feature films as "Project X starring Matthew Broderick, Civil Brand which also stars Mos Def and Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day, produced by T.D. Jakes and starring Blair Underwood and Pam Grier.

 

Reed’s directorial debut was Cuttin Da Mustard, the award winning comedy self-bio film featuring Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder), Keshia Knight Pulliam, (The Cosby Show, Madea Goes to Jail), Charles S. Dutton, and Comedian Sinbad. McCants also produced and directed a comedy hit web series spinoff of his feature film, Cuttin Da Mustard, entitled 40 and Leroy. Currently Reed is the creator, producer and editor of Neema Barnette’s presents, Black History Mini Docs.

AH-KEISHA McCANTS 

Writer, Producer, Narrator and Chief Editor for BHMD Blog

 

A native New Yorker, Ah-Keisha McCants began working professionally as a writer at the age of 14. She wrote and performed two songs for NBC’s The Cosby Mysteries. One of which, “Can I Get A Witness,” won her recognition in the Billboard Songwriting Awards. By the age 16 of, her first play, Great Women of Color, was produced and ran at the Whitefire Theatre in Los Angeles, California. A writer for Backstage West, penned Ah-Keisha as “a budding playwright, whose insight is way beyond her years.” Since, Ah-Keisha has made a name for herself as a writer, director, producer and arts educator. At the age of 19, she made her NYC Off-Broadway debut with her interactive poetic play Café Millennium starring Russell Hornsby (Grimm), and Latarsha Rose (Being MaryJane). She has been featured in the Source Magazine and reviewed in Backstage Magazine as “The future of theatre and contemporary art.” Café Millennium garnered Ah-Keisha a Rising Star AUDELCO® Award, notoriety from Playbill Magazine, Time Out New York, The Daily News, the Village Voice, and Courier Post.

 

As a songwriter Ah-Keisha has written for renowned jazz/blues artist, Olu Dara, blues singer Cassandra Wilson and hip hop performer Kindred Wisdom. She was Artistic Director of NYC based theater company Live Theatre Gang where she produced and/or directed plays, Printz of Poets, Great Men & Women of Color, the political satire, Haters, as well as the traveling run of Café Millennium, and the holiday musical, Sista Scrooge.

 

As a film producer, Ah-Keisha’s credits include the comedy, Cuttin’ Da Mustard starring Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder), Adrienne Bailon (The Real) and comedian Sinbad (Celebrity Apprentice). Ah-Keisha serves as Co-Producer of the web-series, 40 and Leroy Crazy in New York, and Senior Writer and voice over artist for Black History Mini Docs, an online 90 second visual cliff notes documentary series for the digital-age. Ah-Keisha recently wrote, directed and edited the short film Greenhouse which was an Official Selection for 2014 Reel Women of the Diaspora Film Festival, 2014 African American Women of Cinema Film Festival, the 2014 Afronaut(a): exploration in film series at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, and the 2014 Shooting Wall Film Festival at PhilaMOCA in Philly. Greenhouse tackles mental health and childhood abandonment in an art driven narrative featuring an original score by folk/blues/experimental musician, Jr* V!ctor!es and prominent visual artist, Tomashi Jackson. The film has been in the Amsterdam News, IndieWire, and featured on ABC’s news and culture show, Here and Now.

 

Most recently, Ah-Keisha was Senior Editor of the first three issues of Duende, an online literary journal whose mission to publish writers and artists in underrepresented communities, be they of color, LGBTQ, etc., she helped to develop and implement. Ah-Keisha’s poetry has been published in Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and Specter Magazine. Ah-Keisha has completed a new full length play titled, “Black Hands” and is developing an accompanying visual doc series titled, “Black Hands: ON DISPLAY,” a homage to her hometown Harlem and the personal narratives of black wellness. She has also written “Loop’D” a series of experimental one-acts. Ah-Keisha has a BFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and is completing her M.S.Ed in Reading/Writing/Literacy at the University of Pennsylvania.

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WHAT IS BHMD?

Legendary Producer and Filmmaker Neema Barnette (Civil Brand, Women thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day) presents Black History Mini Docs. These are a fast and entertaining way to educate young and old about the varying contributions of Blacks in American history. Think of it as the "Cliff Notes" for the digital age.

 

Barnette teams up with her husband Reed R. McCants (Cuttin’ Da Mustard), also an award winning filmmaker. Reed brings his unique style of storytelling to chronicle the many contributions and achievements of the African-American throughout history.

 

The series will feature the stories of Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Madam CJ Walker and Malcolm X along with great living legends like Muhammad Ali, Angela Davis and Harry Belafonte. Contemporary heroes like Tupac Shakur will be included as well as everyday un-sung heroes in the Black community who have devoted their life’s work to upholding the race and giving back.

 

Black Mini Docs is designed as a crash course in Black history. It meets the demands of our fast paced digital age by using quick cuts and cinematic savvy. Designed for easy access, the series will be used on smart phones, computers and all media outlets. Black Mini Docs is a commercial for REAL HISTORY.

NEEMA BARNETTE DIRECTS NEW VH1 HIP-HIP DRAMA “THE BREAKS” 

“Cut and print that sucker”, is the saying that Neema Barnette always yells out after a “shot” or “film take” that she is pleased with on her film shoots.  Once again Neema is putting her coined phrase in action with VH1's newest original television series, The Breaks, filming in New York City, her hometown.  

BHMD MICRO DOCS are a even faster way to get historical facts about some of the greatest heroes to have ever walked on this earth.

BHMD MICRO DOCS - DAISY BATES

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates (November 11, 1914 – November 4, 1999) was an American civil rights activist, publisher, journalist, and lecturer who played a leading role in the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957. 

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