Project Cre8: BET & Paramount Players Unveil Semifinalists In Search For Undiscovered Creative Talent


BET Networks and Paramount Players have revealed 10 semifinalists of Project Cre8, a nationwide search for the next big filmmaker, which was launched in January. These aspiring filmmakers are a step closer to the opportunity to produce a feature film with a million-dollar budget.

This initiative, which was announced at Sundance, aims to create opportunities for African American content creators both in front of and behind the camera in order to cultivate the next generation of minority creatives.

Each semifinalist was allocated a $2,500 budget to produced a 3-5 minutes scene from their original screenplay in one month. BET will purchase the winning screenplay and work with the winner and Paramount Players to produce their original script. The scenes will be posted starting tomorrow, where the public can vote for their favorite.

See the top 10 semifinalists below.

Khalid Abdulqaadir
Film: Affection of a Tiger
Synopsis: The miraculous true story of a teenage boy and his family, who face being the only African Americans targeted by the FBI for an alleged connection to 9/11. The stage is set where a riveted journey ensues to prove their innocence, reveal the truth, and clear their family name.
About Khalid: Khalid Abdulqaadir is an honorably served Veteran with 16 years of public service. His professional career and academic experience studying abroad in 10 countries on 6 continents, has provided the foundation for his inspiration. Khalid has enhanced his writer-director abilities with a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies and seeks to provide new perspectives through written and visual mediums.

Tayo Amos
Film: Elite
Synopsis: Pressured by her demanding father, a high school senior at a rigorous prep school goes to extreme lengths to get into her dream Ivy League college.
About Tayo: Tayo Amos is a director and filmmaker from the Bay Area and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. She loves to tell stories in a variety of mediums: commercials for their brevity, narratives for their impact, and music videos for the range of artistic expression. While she is currently developing her first feature film, she aims to continue developing her craft within these other formats.

William Anderson
Film: True Powers
Synopsis: After his father is murdered, Willie Powers, a comic book-obsessed-black teen living on Chicago’s west side, dons a makeshift superhero costume to fight crime.
About William: William Anderson is an aspiring screenwriter based in Chicago, IL. True Powers was conceived and written in just over three weeks with the hopes of entertaining as well as raising awareness about Chicago’s violence and social injustice issues. When he is not writing, William volunteers as a drum teacher for a local youth program.

Allison Beda & Eileen Cook
Film: Unpredictable
Synopsis: Sophie Kintock poses as a psychic to win her ex-boyfriend back, failing to predict how much fun she will have and how much trouble it will get her into.
About Alison and Eileen: Director Allison Beda’s production company A Muse Productions makes films about women who make trouble and film art that defies categorization. Alison studied film at Simon Fraser University, has an MFA from University of British Columbia, honed her strong visual style working as an IATSE camera operator and learned when you can (and when you cannot) “fix it in post” working as an Associate Producer on shows like the series “12 Monkeys”. Eileen Cook is a novelist with 15 traditionally published novels which have been translated into over 8 languages. She also provides writing mentorship services through The Creative Academy. Unpredictable is her first screenplay.

Christopher Cole
Film: Getaway
Synopsis: A click-bait journalist (Mike) takes on an assignment to write about being an Uber driver “in the ghetto” for a night, when, by chance, he reconnects with an old friend (Charlie). Mike learns Charlie’s a bank robber when he’s forced to help him make a getaway.
About Christopher: Christopher Cole is a Brooklyn based writer/director originally hailing from Rancho Cucamonga, California. A recent graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, his work has been featured on Issa Rae’s Short Film Sundays, The Fader, Noisey, and Pigeons and Planes. Christopher’s work frequently stands at the intersection of music and comedy, and he is set to pursue a Master of Arts in Arts Politics from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Fall 2018.

Calhoun Cornwell
Film: Orangeburg 68′
Synopsis: In 1968, Harry Floyd denied African-Americans the right to bowl at his alley, resulting in a group of students from South Carolina State University to lead a three-day protest against the alley.
About Calhoun: Calhoun Cornwell, is a graduate of South Carolina State University, it was there where he found his love for writing and directing. He would later attend Savannah College of Art and Design where he would further develop his craft for screenwriting and film-making; while achieving a Masters in Dramatic Writing. As an African-American film-maker, it’s his belief that he’s to be a voice for the voiceless and to be the Author for African-American stories untold.

Quincy Ledbetter
Film: Alieu the Dreamer
Synopsis: In a world where humans haven’t dreamed for three decades, a driven government agent discovers a struggling young man in the projects who has started dreaming.
About Quincy: Quincy Ledbetter is a filmmaker, musician, and artist living in Brooklyn, New York by way of Woodbridge, Virginia. As a storyteller, Quincy works to share unique narratives across all genres, told from a rare perspective.

Crystle Roberson
Film: Cabinfest
Synopsis: When a superstar comedian announces a comedy showcase at the biggest party of the year, a group of comedians hit the road for their big break. But as their love for marijuana derails them, they meet a duo of female con artists and land at the wrong party.
About Crystle: Crystle Roberson is a writer/director who is passionate about various stories from comedy/drama, to sci-fi/thriller and animation. Crystle has been a passionate filmmaker for over 10 years and was honored by Women in Film & Television Atlanta with the Woman to Watch Award in 2008. Most recently, she was a selected participant in the Sony Pictures Television Diverse Directors Program as well as the Thread Storytellers in Modern Media Program at Yale University.

Jeff Stewart
Film: King of Nowhere
Synopsis: On the eve of his sons’ birth, an aging drug dealer’s plans for a new life fall apart. With time running out and the walls closing in, he only has one night to atone for a life of crime as he battles against an army of crooked cops, Russian gangsters, and his former business partner.
About Jeff: Trenton, New Jersey born and raised, Jeff Stewart is a true child of the 80s. Reared just as much by movies and television as he was by his parents he was given his first camera when he was two years old, he hasn’t been seen without one since.

Alexandra Tran
Project Name: Black Girls Don’t Swim
Synopsis: A black Muslim teen in small-town Minnesota risks her life and everything her refugee family has built when she pursues her dream of competitive swimming.
About Alexandra Tran: Alexandra Tran is a Los Angeles-based writer and director experienced in female-led drama. Her prior features and pilots have placed in multiple writing competitions. Being both multi-ethnic and multi-national, she often draws on her unusual background to portray women and girls in “fish out of water ” stories.


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