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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, April 12, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsCFEG Holds Film Maker Discussion with Tony Award Director Kenny Leon

CFEG Holds Film Maker Discussion with Tony Award Director Kenny Leon

Director Kenny Leon and attorney Sansara Cannon sat down for a question-and-answer style interview that engaged the crowd. (Photo provided by CFEG)

In a crowd of about 20 creatives ranging from local writers, directors, entrepreneurs, and other artists, the Center for Educational Growth held a discussion with Tony Award-winning Director Kenny Leon.

The Center for Educational Growth and Blue Tarp Productions, in collaboration with others, invited Leon to speak Monday to the room of creatives in promoting their campaign “Film Over Gun Violence.” The initiative is to inspire young adults between the ages of 13 and 28 who are most impacted by gun violence to “change the scene” on gun violence.

George Cannon of Blue Tarp Productions introduces director Kenny Leon. (Photo provided by CFEG)

Leon, who has worked on films like The American Son, A Raisin in the Sun, Steel Magnolias, and The Wiz Live, just to name a few, gave advice to the creatives in a question-and-answer style interview.

Chef and artist Ralph Motta for Motta Cuisine asks a question of Kenny Leon. (Photo provided by CFEG)

Leon spoke about his humble upbringing and how he started as an actor and found himself more interested in directing films. “The more you dig into you, you’ll find your uniqueness,” said Leon. He also credits his success to remaining relevant. “I cannot be relevant if I do not listen to the music of a 30-year-old, if I do not listen to the poetry of a 40-year-old, if I do not listen and respect women. You can’t be relevant and storytelling if you are not listening and paying attention to the world.” He also credits his success to having a strong spiritual center.

Angelina Lang asks a question of Kenny Leon. (Photo provided by CFEG)

In the crowd, other well-known filmmakers could be seen like Johanna Bermudez-Ruiz, known for her documentary “Vieques an Island Forging Futures,” and filmmaker Jordan K. Paul, who created “ANIMALS,” just to name a few.

Well-known director Johanna Bermudez-Ruiz. (Photo provided by CFEG)

Paul asked what Leon’s advice was on pitching his films to actors. Leon said, “You are doing what you are supposed to do. Sometimes you are on page 12 when you want to be on page 80.” He encouraged the filmmaker to continue on the path and could see him being very successful.

To donate to the Center for Educational Growth’s efforts, click here.

The Center for Educational Growth is a non-profit online school offering hands-on, flexible classes at an affordable price. The Center for Educational Growth provides students with a new way to direct their learning. Blue Tarp Productions is a film production company based out of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Other sponsors for this initiative are Viya and the CMCARTS Center.

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