#BonfireStories —Introducing Filmmaker, writer and producer Huriyyah Muhammad
Introduce yourself to the world.
I’m a writer, director, and producer, a 2018 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, and the co-founder of the Black TV & Film Collective. This summer I directed the short film, OutGroWN and I’m currently producing the narrative feature film, Farewell Amor.
1. When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?
I usually get my inspiration from my own life and experiences, however inspiration is all around me. I’m inspired to see other storytellers of color who are breaking boundaries and courageously going after their dreams. It keeps the fire lit because I know if they can do it, we can do it.
2. How did you prepare for your role as a Director?
I prepared for my role as a director by taking a deep dive into the script to ensure it is as tight as it can be. Armed with a really great script, it truly makes everyone’s job easier — mine, the actors, and the other above and below the line collaborators.
3. When writing a scene, what do you tend to focus on mainly?
What the character wants and what’s standing in the way of that want.
4. What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Honestly the toughest challenge has been making the time to prioritize my own work as much as I prioritize the work of others. I lead the Black TV & Film Collective, a collective of over 1200 artists across NYC. We have so many filmmakers who are producing great stories, I tend to spend a lot of time mentoring and helping push them to the finish line. I love it though. It’s a beautiful problem to have. www.blacktvfilmcollective.org
5. What kind of world do you want to see now that your film “Outgrown” 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’m a child of the 80s, but I truly grew up in the 90s. As a kid, my cousins and my imagination were all I needed to go anywhere and experience anything. This film is a nod to that time in our lives, that time in history way before social media and before Game Boy Color (don’t act like you don’t remember) and PSP, changed everything for kids. I remember creating motorcycles out of bedposts and jumping off roofs onto old mattresses because we thought we had wings. Maybe in those moments we did, and maybe just maybe Reggie and Sam, two cousins who are think as thieves, actually make it to that concert, and maybe they’ll remember it for the rest of their lives. 2019 is a maddening time to be a kid, but back then — it was simple.
6. What would you say is your unique responsibility as a filmmaker?
To tell stories that speak the truth of who we are and what we stand for.
How can others reach out to you and/or stay informed about your upcoming projects?