#BonfireStories — Welcoming Filmmaker Martina Lee

Our Campfire
5 min readJul 17, 2020
Martina Lee | Photo Credit: Unknown

Q: When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?

I am inspired by the people and experiences that have shaped my life. The two shorts I directed are very much about father relationships with their children. Growing up without a dad myself and a pretty unconventional mother, it definitely influences the stories I tell.

Q: Martina, What set the gears in motion to finally make Black Boy Joy?

I was accepted into the Project Involve, a film independent fellowship that focuses on supporting emerging filmmakers from communities underrepresented in film and entertainment. Black Boy Joy was one out of six films produced during the 2019 year.

Q: How did Black Boy Joy come about?

Black Boy Joy was written by a Project Involve writing fellow Michelle Sam. This was a story close to her heart and I felt drawn as a director. We wanted to explore this idea of Black male vulnerability. There are so many situations in life in which black men feel like they can’t express their feelings. We wanted to tell that story through the lens of a grieving family that also is dealing with a son who is on the spectrum. When you have Otis, a father figure who represents a very old school method of parents and a young boy with autism who…



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