In today’s society, we have many filmmakers and screenwriters that are recognized for creating some of the best films of our time. But how often can you count these filmmakers to be African American and/or a woman? Felisha George is fresh on the scene and ready to make a huge statement. She not only directs her films, but she writes them and acts. Every film has an important message, and this year she hopes to share it with the rest of the country.
Q. How long have you been in film?
Ive been writing films for about two years now, but I just started working on my own film this year. For the first time I’ve written, and will be directing, editing, and producing on my own. Before this year I was concentrating on a joint project with a friend, which eventually caused me to venture into filmmaking on my own because I had so many ideas, and their was so much that I wanted to do. I was really nervous going into things on my own, but I wanted it so bad that the nerves went away little by little. I realized that if I was going to do it on my own that I would do it for the people around me. The film that I’m working on now is based off the events of Black Lives Matter. Most of our time is spent on our cellphones, or watching television and I wanted to make sure that when people are watching the material with my name on it, it’s teaching them something. Every single film that I make will be for the people, it won’t be fiction, it’ll be what we live.
Q. What challenges do you face?
The hardest thing for me is being my own boss, and my own employee. When it comes to films you have to secure locations, rent out equipment, make sure the actors are always on track, and so many other things that become pretty hard to keep up with. I had to learn how to buckle down on myself because if I’m not doing the work, then theirs no one else to do it. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with how much I have to do, and of course I could always ask for help but with this film I want to be known for what I accomplished on my own. I want to show other women that we can do this! I’ve worked on a lot of sets where people don’t give women the credit that they deserve. So I’ve learned to separate work time, from play time and to concentrate on what needs to be done.
Q. What do you plan to accomplish in the next year?
This year I hope to get my film screened in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. I want to make a name for myself in major cities that are known for acting/filmmaking. Nowadays we don’t see many women directors, or women writers who are also African American. I plan to change that this year by speaking out and putting my film out there. Most of all I want to touch kids around the world with the message that I have put in this film. Every day racism is getting worse and worse, and our people are being killed left and right. This story is to show everyone how much we matter and how much one child that came from a small town, can have an impact on the whole world. We matter more than we believe we do.
Q. What advice would you give young women on a similar path as you?
The advice I would give to a young woman on the same path as me is, not to let anyone tell them that they’re dream isn’t good enough. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that I would never make a living off of writing films and directing, or that I would not be able to do this without a 9-5 job, but yet that’s exactly what I’m doing at the moment. Ever since I quit my survival job I’ve had so many opportunities presented to me. Once I realized I was putting too much energy in my survival job and not in actually doing what I love, I had to step back and eliminate the thought that I need that job to survive. I wasn’t living until I started living for myself. We have to remember that the most important thing in this life is to fulfill the talents that we have been given. As women, we are doubted so much that people don’t even believe we have what it takes to push through and make it in this industry. We have to forget what society tells us about what a women should be, or what she should do and do what WE want to do. Your dreams are always good enough, and you’re more than capable of making them reality. Nobody else has to spend a day in your skin but you, so spend the time doing what makes you happy, regardless of what people say.
Q. Top 3 inspirations
My top three inspirations would be Spike Lee, Alex Elle and Keyshia Cole. I absolutely love Spike Lee because his films are gifts to the world. When he made Crooklyn, at first I loved it without actual reason because I was young and I thought it was hilarious. Now that I’m older I appreciate it because I see what he did for us. He never made the African American family look ghetto, or poor, or anything that we see on tv now. He made the family real, and surrounded by love. He is someone who didn’t care about what society was saying is “correct” about us. He stuck to what he knew and I’ll always admire him for that. Alex Alle is a poet that I followed on Instagram last year, which lead me to buying one of her books. As a writer I appreciate her so much because she doesn’t hold anything back. I believe that to be a good writer you have to be able to share your experiences with the world, especially the ones that hurt to say out loud, because you never know who you may help. The fact that she’s so selfless in her words inspires me to be selfless in mine when I write. She writes to build people up, and that I believe is beautiful. People almost never understand when I say I love Keyshia Cole, because of the name she’s made for herself as mean, or rude, or whatever people may think. I love her for who she is as a person. I’ll never forget the first time I met her, we weren’t allowed to hug her, take any pictures, or talk for too long but she bent all of those rules for me. At the time I was only 13 so that alone made me feel incredible inside. She told me that no matter how discouraged I get, or no matter how many times people say no, that I should make sure I do what I love. It meant so much to me because I figured, she came from nothing and now she’s making her dreams come true, why can’t I do the same thing? Every time I’ve met her she’s done nothing but make me feel like I can do whatever I put my mind to, she made me feel equal to her. She’s someone who stands with her fans and I’ll forever love her for letting me know my dreams were valid enough to make reality.
Social media/addresses to contact you
Instagram : @Justfeli_
Film Page : @theothersideofthetracks