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Detroit Filmmaker Awards honor culture-rooted stories

Detroit Filmmaker Awards honor culture-rooted stories
Darren L. Brown (Photo courtesy of Eric Thomas)

This past weekend, the Detroit Filmmaker Awards returned for the first time since 2019. 

The historical Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History hosted the event. The venue was more than appropriate, it was ideal as the assortment of winners and nominees for the evening put Black cinematic excellence on full display, in front of a crowd of over 300 creators and fans.

The charisma and comedic stylings of the ceremony’s host, Ron Dance, made certain that the evening was lively and quintessentially Detroit. Award presenters such as Qasim Basir, Jessica Care Moore, Greg Russell and others put their unique marks on the touch and moving ceremony.

“To be back in person at the [Detroit]Film Awards is so dope. I actually get to see people,” Detroit film legend Dennis Reed II told rolling out. “You make your movie and want people to be able to tell you how good or bad the movie is. So I’m just so glad to be back.”

Some of the feature film winners from the evening included:

Best Editing: Beasy Jones, Narc

Best Cinematography: Beasy Jones, Narc

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Dez Cortez, Dear Future Husband

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Deborah Lane Spencer, Dear Future Husband

Best Screenplay: Nyambe Nichole, Dear Future Husband

Best Director: Zach Cunningham, In a Sentimental Mood

Best Film: Dear Future Husband

Nyambe Nichole’s win was especially moving for all in attendance. She wrote Dear Future Husband on the heels of her significant other’s passing away. This made writing the film especially difficult, given the subject matter. But through the help of her loved ones and through faith, she persevered.

“Writers, you know that you hear a voice when you’re writing. And because I was in such a dark place, I wasn’t sure the voice I was hearing was the voice of God,” Nichole told the crowd. “So thank you for this award, and for letting me know that I heard right.”

Capped off with complimentary cocktails from Maker’s Mark, the evening rewarded the creative efforts of some of Detroit’s hardest working filmmaking community members. 

Detroit Filmmaker Awards founder, Darren L. Brown, was pleased.

“The entire night was a highlight,” Brown told rolling out. “It just goes to show that not only creativity, but knowledge and working heads are alive and well on the city of Detroit.“

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