Who Protects Us? A Marine comes home from Afghanistan struggling with PTSD to find a cop has racially profiled and killed one of his younger friends. When the two finally meet a conversation goes awry with dark consequences.
Interview with Director Julius B. Kelly
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I made this film to speak upon the racial injustice that is relevant in our society. People of color are being mistreated in every continent by the police force based on racism, ignorance, and hate. I was given the opportunity to use my storytelling ability to show a viewpoint I agreed upon.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
This question is hard for me to answer. I just want you to watch, then share your feedback.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Being a black man in this world and seeing the mistreatment suffered by men and women of color from law enforcement has left a bitter taste in my mouth. We can speak upon the issue by creating a film, which explores the subject of racism and trauma suffered by war veterans as well. These are universal themes relevant in society: racism and mental health, in my opinion.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The script was written by the lead actor and executive producer B. Todd Johnston. The viewer is watching what was written on the pages. There was only a little tweak here and there, but nothing major.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We have received positive feedback on both sides of the world. We screened at the "North Jersey Human Rights Film Festival" and I remember after the Q&A an audience member came up to me and said, "the film is like being punched in the face", I can appreciate that feedback.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The feedback has challenged my point of view as I was skeptical in the beginning of taking on the project. I was at the point in my career where I wasn't sure if I was ready to take on such on a huge responsibility as a filmmaker. After the feedback from the film, I believed I was able to deliver what I set out to do.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
"We Are Moving Stories" is a platform to spread the film's message against racial injustice towards other filmmakers and people across the broad.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
To amplify the film's message, we would love for all media platforms to come forward and help us the spread the message of racial injustice.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would like the impact to be positive and spark a conversation within our communities that “enough is enough”.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
The film is the spark to keep the conversation relevant. The purpose of the film was to use it as a teaching tool for the viewer.
Would you like to add anything else?
I just would like to thank the creatives behind the project: B. Todd Johnston from Murphey Candler Films, Jim Thalman from HExTC, the hardworking cast and crew. I would also like to thank our IndieGoGo funders as well. Union City, NJ and to my family for hearing my thoughts during the rough phase of post-production. Also, thank you for the chat as well.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Right now, we are mainly focusing with the film festival run of “Black N’ Blue” at this time.
Interview: May 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Black N’ Blue
Who Protects Us?
Length: 12mins & 35secs
Director: Julius B. Kelly
Producer: Dayna Schutz
Writer: B. Todd Johnston
About the writer, director and producer:
B. Todd Johnston (WRITER): B. Todd is an actor and writer from Atlanta GA. He obtained his bachelors in Telecommunication Arts from Univ. of Georgia (2007) and his MFA in Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design. This is his first film since undergrad and is a project that is near and dear to his heart; he is eternally indebted to everyone who helped bring this project to life. He is also a teacher, a volunteer and active community member and proud to represent his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Julius B. Kelly (DIRECTOR): Julius received his BA in Media Arts from New Jersey City University and has been making films since 2006. He is the Director and co-founder of Sunnyside Down Productions to produce and promote independent film. His films have been seen locally and nationally across multiple film festivals, including his most recent success "Ploy" which screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner (2016) and won Best Film and Best Actor at the 2016 Urban Action Showcase Expo sponsored by HBO/Cinemax.
Dayna Schutz (PRODUCER): Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, Dayna Schutz started making backyard productions with friends and family and decided to make a career out of it. After obtaining a degree in Film, Video, and Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University, Dayna dove right into film production. Since 2013, Dayna has worked on several features, shorts, commercials, and documentaries in many capacities such as Assistant Director, Production Manager, and Producer. She is passionate about independent filmmaking.
Key cast: B. Todd Johnston, Jim Thalman, Stan J. Adams & Sidiki Fofana
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): Film Festival Directors and Journalists
Made in association with: Sunnyside Down Productions, Murphey Candler Films, and HExTC
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? We are currently waiting to hear back from other film festivals currently. We will be beginning a college tour with the film beginning in September 2018.