We all have stories to tell — anecdotes about our experiences, what we hope for in the future, and the words that have moved us throughout our lives. However, the structure of the entertainment industry makes it so that only certain voices are given platforms, but things are changing. In recent years, mentorship programs like AT&T’s Hello Lab have helped minorities and women push through the red tape. AT&T’s Hello Lab specifically, is empowering up-and-coming filmmakers and writers while giving them the opportunity to bring their stories and views to the forefront of the industry. Nefertite Nguvu is one of those voices.
Nguvu’s debut self-funded film In the Morning was her love letter to Black women and focused the intricacies and changes in relationships. Now, with her filmThe Last Two Lovers At The End of The World which will debut on DIRECTV NOW on Dec. 1. Nguvu was able to step back and lean into her creative flow. “With self-fund projects, there are so many things that you have to think about outside of the creative that are exhausting,” she explained. “Not having to think about, ‘How am I going to get the money, whom am I going to get?’ All of those things take a huge load off your shoulders as a creative person. Sometimes in situations like that, the creative things are the last things that you get to think about at the end of the day because you’re so busy trying to put out fires and figure out logistics. So that was really lovely, just to have the opportunity to focus on the creative aspect of making the film and not worry about those things.”
AT&T’s Hello Lab Mentorship Program connects filmmakers with industry leaders. This year’s mentors included Octavia Spencer, Common, and Rick Famuyiwa who provided support to the filmmakers as they crafted signature short films. Nguvu’s mentor was Academy Award Winner Common whom she’d worked with previously. “From the first project that we did together which was theLove Star mini-documentary, it’s just been really wonderful, “ she reflected. “He’s everything that he appears to be. He’s just an incredibly generous, smart, collaborative person. So it really was wonderful working with him and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to make this film.“
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