As I channel Oprah for a moment (haha) our nonprofit coding academy, Hack4Hope in St. Louis, is "one of my most favorite things!" Our students are introduced to coding as a career option and we have the honor of connecting the booming tech industry in St. Louis to its youngest potential candidates in the field! We like when corporate citizens take notice of students from all neighborhoods. That's what it's all about! Hack4Hope's lead partners are Educational Exchange Corps and ITEN. We meet monthly for six months with our partner Claim Academy with donated laptops from MasterCard (thank you, MasterCard!). And we're thrilled to welcome our latest sponsor BIM Object who is establishing some pretty firm roots in our fair city. So thrilled to have their support and confidence. What do the students experience with Hack4Hope? An annual hackathon, fun ice-breakers to encourage fellowship, coding instruction focusing this year on Python and the fundamentals of writing strong essays. Did we mention we're a nonprofit? We aim for introducing 50 students per year to incredible opportunities to improve their lives and the lives of their families through technology. Join us as a volunteer or a donor by clicking on Hack4Hope.org. As always, please spread our news and just drop an email to say "hello"! See you online! Photos by Kirsten Petty.
On the first Monday of 2017 I was privileged to help launch #BlerdDating, created by ChilltownTV's Leesa Dean. We're a Monday night Twitter chat with confessions (Twitter Story-style), memes, celebrity guests and a whole lot of laughs. In fact, a very special #BlerdDating Valentine's Day episode brought R&B Superstar and Grammy-winner Anthony Hamilton to the show and what can we say? This Monday night date is the most exciting of my life! We're having so much fun. To date we have more than 40 million Twitter impressions and our sharing of #BadDates has reached across the globe. #Blerds who date (this includes married #Blerds) are supercool. Who knew? We'll keep bringing you gems every week. Check us out on Twitter at 9pmEST by searching #BlerdDating, then join us on FaceBook for the AfterParty that gets pretty wild! Need more info about the world's first Twitter Stories/Chat-Mashup phenomenon? Just check us out at BlerdDating.com. We're having a ball and want you to join us! See you Monday nights!
#TITLEVIIFilm Excited to finally announce what everyone has been waiting for: Our narrative feature film, TITLE VII, starring Chicava HoneyChild, Fidel Vicioso, Brian Anthony Wilson and a talented ensemble cast, will have its world premiere at the Hollywood Black Film Festival this February and its New Jersey Premiere at "Women in the World," Women in Media - Newark's 2017 Women's History Month Film Festival this March! We are thrilled to finally have all of you who made this film possible see the film publicly and celebrate its completion and festival run with us! Screening dates are still to be determined, but HBFF will be held February 22 - 26 in Marina del Rey and the Newark festival will be held March 28 - April 5. Will we see you there? Thanks for championing our #FilmAFeatureIn8Days Microbudget Film! We did it! Please let us know how to bring TITLE VII to a neighborhood near you! #TITLEVII #JusticeontheJob #SameRaceDiscrimination #Grateful
When I watched the film I Am Not Your Negro (twice) this year I knew that in spite of an unpredictable President-Elect who fires from the hip, racial tensions at an all-time high, and gender and racial equality in this business I'm in still having the length of 50 football fields to go towards progress, seeing James Baldwin speak of our same situation 30 years ago was what I needed--what this country needs--because this prolific icon left us with instructions on how to improve. The gifted filmmaker Raoul Peck recognized this and spent 10 years perfecting this magnificent portrait of an author's book proposal turned memoir. When I first met Raoul Peck a little more than 10 years ago I never thought he'd be the one to inspire me any more than I could be at 17 years into my career. I feel blessed to share news of this beautiful film through an article in the Toronto publication ByBlacks.com. Please click this link to read and share (and leave comments!). Remember, no matter who leads "the free world" in the next coming weeks, no one can tamper with our humanity and our hope.
It's been a busy year of filming, editing--and now writing. In fact, I've teamed up with talented creator Leesa Dean (ChilltownTV) for a new concept that we hope will be the place to be on Twitter! Making its debut on Monday, January 2, 2017 is #BlerdDating a new Twitter stories/chat-mashup--52 confessions (Yep, I'm confessing!) on dates from hell that can only happen to us #Blerds.
Join us with celebrity guests on Mondays on Twitter at 9pmEST with the hashtag #BlerdDating (follow me as well @Nicoleedits on Twitter if you think you'll be lost). At 10pmEST, head back over to Facebook for our #BlerdDating Afterparty with host Lisa Durden for a live online chat fest that gets deeper, darker and wilder. (Like we said--it's the Afterparty!)
One of my favorite parts about #BlerdDating is because the #Blerds on Twitter will probably help us get super popular, why keep all of that attention to ourselves? At certain times during the year, we'll spotlight some hard-working nonprofits for the entire month. We have merch! Purchase our t-shirts that month and 20% of the profits goes right to that featured charity. It's a month of love--because when our dates go low, we go high! :) Hang out with us! More info: BlerdDating.com. We're thrilled to have a show where we can talk good times, relationship issues and outrageously bad dates. Yeah...we all went through them for some reason, right? Here we go!
It's been quite a year personally and professionally for me and my work with EPIPHANY Inc. We filmed a feature (in 8 days, in case you haven't heard...yes!) and we are currently in wait-and-see mode for festival acceptances/rejections while our post production team is working in a realm nothing short of magical. I am blessed to have an incredible crew that said, "Let's do this!" and made something beyond my wildest dreams happen. I am truly grateful. I also experienced a bout of racism in the process of making a dream happen this year and other than the emotional toll that takes on one's soul, I'm learning from the vitriol many of us have experienced publicly due to one of the wildest U.S. election cycles ever, we WILL move forward and thrive in spite of people trying to pit all of the beautiful communities that make up the U.S. and our incoming residents against each other. I've been personally moved by individuals who have reached out to me to acknowledge the decades of work I've been so focused on producing for audiences and I've been a bit kicked in the stomach by some who build you up with false promises then expect you to just roll with it because it makes them feel better. There's been love, there's been loss. It's a life lived and sometimes it can be challenging. But as President Obama says, "The sun will rise in the morning." I realize that having good days and bad days are why God provided the strongest healing ever: A passion for the arts. Music and storytelling always saves. It's been there for the solitary bouts of depression and underscored the most joyous of occasions. My work as a filmmaker, writer and television director have been my favorite full-time side gig for 17 years. I'm excited to say 2017 will see the full-time hours now in EPIPHANY Inc.'s hands and it will be my pleasure to churn out a slate of projects for you--a very patient, receptive and supportive audience. We even are collaborating on a new show premiering the first week of January that will hopefully be the comic relief for any tough days ahead. More details to come.... In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving! Let's celebrate our love and support for one another this holiday season and forever ever after.
As many of you are learning, our narrative feature, TITLE VII, filmed this summer in Florham Park, NJ and was lensed in eight days. And, we wrapped by 6pm each day. As we look back to say, "We did that!" I love the idea of looking ahead to the very near future when I get to share tips on the "Why" and "How" this production schedule came to be! So join me Sunday, October 23 at 2pm, Spike Lee Screening Room, LIU Brooklyn Campus for the #ReelSisters microbudgeting workshop, #FilmAFeatureIn8Days. Please register by clicking here. I'll be there to give lots of behind-the-scenes lessons that may help you get your first narrative feature in the can as well! Have you tried the hashtag #FilmAFeatureIn8Days on Twitter? Please catch my numbered tips there--tryin' to get to 100 (which would be longer than the film!). A great way to launch the conversation, though, was an interview I was thrilled to do with Directed by Women. You may check that out by clicking here. Would love to hear your thoughts. I already admitted, we were crazy! But it turned out to be a good crazy. :) I can't wait to hear your reviews! For now, see you in class!
It's Fall, my favorite time of year, and I'd like to celebrate--with a giveaway! Our EPIPHANY #GrabBag will be our own version of a pop-up boutique and offer a big Thank You to all who have supported our films throughout the years. Simply put, if you have a small business with your designs and crafts, let's talk about offering your product to a few of our fans, accompanied by loads of publicity. Long-time fans and new friends, let's get some wonderful goodies into your hands! Contact me here and we'll plan the exchange! Look for our #EConvo #GrabBag announcements on social media. Happy Fall!
We did it! We filmed a feature in eight days! TITLE VII is in the can and off to editor Veronique Doumbe with our blessings. Whew! That was a doozey! We had a beautiful set courtesy of Fairleigh Dickinson University/Florham Campus and their talented student crew who kept up with a grueling schedule. Hats off to all departments. Incredible work by DP CYbel Martin and our producing team who kept us rolling! The actors--what can I say? I'm in awe of them and will be forever grateful to the talent that lifted this script to levels beyond belief. SO many people to thank. The witty and critical writing of Craig T. Williams and author Daisy M. Jenkins who originally got us here--I will be forever indebted to them as well. Here's your first look, Everyone. Official trailer and more #FilmAFeatureIn8Days news to come. And please share and continue to support us by joining our street team by clicking here.
TITLE VII First Look.
#Sisters4TITLEVIIFilm is an awareness campaign behind the narrative feature, TITLE VII, on the topic of same-race discrimination from writer/director Nicole Franklin. Behind-the-scenes stories and developments may be found here. As female film directors we're Sisters in the struggle no more. We are dominating. The call for more women behind the camera is being answered. Sure, it's documented that in 2015 women made up 9% of all directors hired in the studio system, but what about the independent films that are experiencing a groundswell of support from audiences hungry for good storytelling? Countless numbers of directors like me are standing on the shoulders of Julie Dash, Barbara Kopple, Neema Barnette, Nora Ephron, Jane Campion, Kathe Sandler, Mira Nair, Debbie Allen, Ava DuVernay, Kathleen Collins, Euzhan Palzy, Kim Longinotto, Amma Asante, Jodie Foster, Stacey Muhammad, Kathryn Bigelow, Dee Rees and so many, many more. So in sisterly fashion let's start a movement. #Sisters4___(fill in the blank)___ will be our endorsement for female-helmed narrative features, shorts, docs, TV episodes, web content and who knows what we'll create next. I'm a career documentarian embarking on my first narrative feature, TITLE VII. So let's start here: #Sisters4TITLEVIIFilm. We'll take this viral and do so for the next project from the next sister as well. And so on...and so on..... Women are here to change the world. I believe that. And I'm prepared to film it as well.
#TITLEVIIFilm We're crewing up for our feature film this summer. It's a microbudget but we need top preparation going into the shoot. It's also my first narrative feature as writer/director. We're currently in need of a Script Supervisor. Here are the particulars:
Microbudget feature film, TITLE VII, from writer/director Nicole Franklin seeks Script Supervisor for an 8-day shoot, July 5 - 12, 2016. Previous experience required. Location: Florham Park N.J. Pay. Please contact: NicoleFilmAssist@gmail.com.
Any takers? Please give us a shout! Thanks so much!
We have been in an exciting development and preproduction phase for the feature film TITLE VII and are now thrilled to share news on how our spotlight on justice through film continues.
We are entitled to a safe and just workplace for all. #ENTITLED2TheLaw
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act banned employment discrimination based on sex, race, color and national origin in 1964. Our feature film dives deep into same-race discrimination and with this storyline we are putting a rarely discussed aspect of racism on the screen, ending this silence. Also gaining traction in recent years is the fight victims of sexual harassment and abuse in the military have undergone. With jurisdiction through the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), TITLE X is the law that protects our service women and men against sexual violence. They too hope to end the silence and we are teaming up to see that violations under both laws are brought to light.
How did our activism partnership happen? A few months before writing the first draft of the TITLE VII screenplay, I was contacted by the Minority Women Veterans about directing a docu-series exploring rape in the military. We have heard about it but we are slow to see it come to an end. I jumped at the chance to accept their offer and assist in seeing this series come together. You may learn more about the Minority Women Veterans Organization by clicking here.
We decided to bring on the public to help. By clicking here on Represent.com you will be getting the word out by purchasing a TITLE VII/TITLE X Tee. Available colors: Black, Blue, Army and Lieutenant in both short sleeve tees and tanks. Special shoutout to EPIPHANY Inc. Graphic Artist Carlos Dos Santos for the design. Shoutout to Ruth Sergel for her craft for messaging. Please support our cause today. Profits from the sales will be split between the funding of our two projects. Wearing your tee, photographing yourself in it and uploading it with our hashtag #Entitled2TheLaw for our social media campaigns will put your activism on the frontlines and we thank you.
TITLE VII, TITLE X. It’s the law.
So awesome to have friends reach out with the words, "Do you need an Intern?" and have one actually show up! And she's a journalism major who loves sports and--did I mention she loves to write? Like me! Everyone welcome, please, Kayla Solomon to our EPIPHANY Inc. family for the summer. Here is her bio:
Kayla Solomon is a junior journalism major at Temple University. She is an avid New York sports fan and Netflix watcher, when she isn't writing of course. Her work can be found weekly on her personal blog, dearfuturekay.wordpress.com, as well as The Odyssey at Templeand www.blackaphillyated.com. Kayla is honored to be interning with Nicole Franklin and Ephiphany Inc. this summer. Let's get the summer started!
#TITLEVII #CivilRights We're thrilled to launch our funding campaign for the feature we're filming this summer. Our story TITLE VII--a subject that everyone is talking about these days--has a twist. We're taking on same-race discrimination, which is a subject that is rarely discussed on screen but we're going for it. Thank you so much for your support over the years. Because of you we have reached this milestone as TITLE VII is our first narrative feature. Thank you! Please continue your support and share our news by clicking here. Scroll through the beautiful photos of our talented cast. Add your voice to make sure workplace discrimination is no longer something we come to expect--especially from people we thought were on our side. Join us. TITLE VII. It's the law.
One of my favorite projects launched last year is Hack4Hope, our free introduction to the #tech industry for St. Louis Teens. The tech industry is significant to the economic boom in the city's downtown area. We believe careers in this field are available to all and have gathered up many partners who believe the same. Students in underserved areas of the Metro St. Louis (including our friends across the river) are introduced to a world of opportunity, and my fantastic team and I are committed to their success. June is a busy month for us for two FREE Events. Registration is now open for the following:
"She's Pivotal: Transforming Who's Building the World's Software" - Pivotal Labs and Hack4Hope present a Day of Technology for young women to learn about careers - Thursday, June 9, 2016. Female High School and College Students are encouraged to apply by clicking here. Space is limited. Again, it's FREE.
"Hack4Hope Hackathon 2016"! We're back and looking forward to a FREE immersive weekend as students from grades 7 - 12 learn technology to provide solutions to better their lives in St. Louis. Join us Friday, June 10 - Sunday, June 12, 2016. Students who have expressed a financial need to support their educational goals are encouraged to apply by clicking here. Space is limited. Again, it's FREE.
Register today and bring hope to your future. Let's go!!
#MoneyShot That's right. We need to borrow a luxury car for our #TITLEVII film in production this summer in NJ. Our scene will take one day to film and with the return your vehicle you'll have our utmost gratitude. Your automobile will be prominently featured in our film as well! Our lead character in TITLE VII drives a bad ass ride to work. Because he looks so sleek and so confident on his commute, it leads him right into the hands of the law. Will you lend us your car? It will not be harmed in the filming, we promise. In fact, our lead character gets "Get out of the car!" screamed at him, so your car will be very much in the clear. And we very much want you to come to set to car-sit and join our crew! Know of our car who wants a cameo? Please let us know! And please share this post! Any and everyone can follow our production here and on Medium @Nicoleedits. We've also jumpstarted the fundraising process with a pre-fundraiser at Fractured Atlas. If you pre-pay for tickets with a tax-deductible $15 contribution at this link at An EPIPHANY Conversation, you will receive unlimited streaming of the film, a credit in the film (if your name is submitted by our post deadline of July 30, 2016), and a social media shoutout. We look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for playing! Let's go!