#BonfireStories — Introducing Filmmaker, and writer Praheme

Our CampFire
Feb 1 · 4 min read
Praheme

Introduce yourself to the world.

Peace. Hello World,

My name is Praheme and I am one of the greatest filmmaker you’ve never heard of, born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. I am the CEO and lead creative for Praphetic Praductions and iamWE Film Collective. I am a proud graduate of Howard University where I earned a BA in Film Production and I have a Master’s Degree in Film Production from Florida State University. After soaking up as much schooling as possible, I put my skills to the test and created my first feature film Troop 491: the Adventures of the Muddy Lions in 2013. The Muddy Lions (www.troop491-movie.com) was a huge independent success and went on to have a 5 week theatrical run, win 5 awards from film festivals, screened Internationally, selected for over 15 film festivals, partnered with the National Boy Scouts of America and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, and sold over 15,000 DVDs.

I am currently living in Los Angeles pushing my latest short film Stuck starring Javicia Leslie and Hari Williams on the film festival circuit. Stuck is a romantic comedy about two strangers who hook up for a one-night stand and get stuck in the act of sex. Stuck has been selected to screen in 10 film festivals (internationally and domestically) and earned 4 awards to date.

1.When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?

I find inspiration from living life. Most of my art comes from my own personal experiences and those of friends and family. I take inspiration from everything, from the rich past of my ancestors to present day conversations with strangers. I’m inspired by great films, books, and all art and try to incorporate what I like into my own work. The more I travel, and live and learn; the more I am inspired to create.

2. What is the toughest challenge you've faced so far?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced is Distribution and making money off my art. Secondly, film financing. I have 3 scripts written and ready for production but lack the funds to produce. Everything we’ve accomplished with the Muddy Lions and Stuck is independently and MONEY/resources is always the struggle.

3.What kind of world do you want to see now that your film "Stuck" is made? (For clarification) We know that there is a message you as a filmmaker are conveying to your audience, what is that message?

I hope each of my films has an underlining message but my first goal is to entertain. I want folks to unwind and have a good time at the movie theater. I want people to see themselves and not the common stereotypes. I hope my work will help diversity what it means to be Black in America by showcasing all the beauty and glory of our experiences. With the Muddy Lions, I wanted to look at Black boys and the cycle of violence, and what can be done to end the nonsense. With Stuck, I wanted to discuss the lack of intimacy for Millennials and make the audience think twice on their next sexual encounter.

4. As a filmmaker, what are some key lessons learned so far?

“If you want to be great at something, learn all that you can, and when you think you know it all, go and learn some more.” Daphne Maxwell Reid taught me this when I was in High school starting my path in Filmmaking. After college, I learned to “trust the process” and “don’t skip the steps”. Filmmaking is a craft and the more you work each phase of the process, the better you will become. Each of the 5 phases is equally important, if you shortchange one, the overall picture will suffer. Lately, I’ve learned to “be creative and work within your resources.” People are making award-winning film on their Iphone now. There are no excuses anymore, so get out there and create something great.

5. What would you say is your unique responsibility as a filmmaker?

I have a responsibly to use my films to make the world a better place and elevate the status of Blacks in the world. I use film to entertain, with the hopes to educate and inspire change. I want to speak to and for the voiceless. I know that there is power in film to shape the minds of the masses. I make films to inspire and empower. My company philosophy is the African proverb, “I am because we are, we are because I am.”

How can others reach out to you and/or stay informed about your upcoming projects?

You can find more information about me at praheme.com and troop491-movie.com. On all social media as Praheme.

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