Seattle, Washington | Film Short

Drama, Music

Justin Emeka

1 Campaigns | Washington, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $10,200 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

62 supporters | followers

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Too often films that center Hip-hop illustrate a culture of violence, misogyny and self-destruction. This film is a celebration of fatherhood and illuminates the humanity of Hip-hop within a unique cultural landscape of Seattle during the 'golden era' of the 90s.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

It is my goal to shine a light on Black and Brown experiences that are often overlooked. As we acknowledge the 50th anniversary of a movement that changed American culture, this film illuminates Seattle's unique Hip-Hop community and honors the choices many must make to be both artists and parents.

The Story

After 25 years of teaching and directing theatre, I was honored to recently receive a TV/Film directing fellowship from the Drama League in New York to support my ambition to become a filmmaker. As part of the fellowship, I spent two months in Prague as a shadow director on the Disney+ TV series, "A Small Light". Additionally, I was awarded $25K to shoot & direct my own original short, "Biological". Although the Drama League funds provide support for the shoot scheduled October 7-9, 2023 in Seattle. I am working to raise funds via Seed and Spark to support areas of post production including editing, color correction, sound, licensing and film festival submissions.

Story: A talented Hip-Hop artist living in obscurity in Seattle, WA during the 90s must choose between fame and fatherhood when the mother of his child is diagnosed with a fatal illness. 

Cast includes Seattle Hip-Hop Artist Rell be Free and Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright and actor Zora Howard who also co-wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed film "Premature".

Production Timeline:

Summer 2023 Location scouting; finalize script, cast, and production team.

Oct. 7-9 2023 Shoot film on location in Seattle, WA.

Nov.-Dec 2023 Edit film.

Jan. 2024 Share first showing with supporters and get feedback for final edit.

Feb.-Dec. 2024. Festival submission and public showings.

This film shines a light on young Black parents who persevere through their own challenges and imperfections to provide lasting love and support for their family.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Film Festival submission

Costs $1,500

To support festival expenses related to festival submission and attendance.

Props & Licensing

Costs $3,500

Licensing to use period appropriate references such as the Supersonics.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

post-production picture and sound

Costs $5,000

For editing, color correction, and sound.

About This Team

Writer/director JUSTIN EMEKA grew up in and around Seattle and received his MFA in Directing from the University of Washington.For the past 25 years he has written and directed at theaters around the country. He is the resident director at the Pittsburgh Public Theater where he recently directed his original adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Harlem.He has taught at NYU, Juilliard and is a tenured professor of Theater & Africana Studies at Oberlin College.  He recently was awarded a Drama League Fellowship in TV/FIlm Directing.  He served as a shadow director on two episodes of the upcoming Disney+ series "A Small Light" and completed his first short film "Six Winters Gone Still".

Cinematographer HALEY WATSON a Los Angeles-based director and cinematographer. Her recent work includes directing and cinematography on the Spring Puma Hoops Campaign art directed by June Ambrose. The campaign combines story with innovative cinematography. Haley’s keen eye for story has also been proven groundbreaking research. Haley found and pitched the original story for "The Queen of the Basketball" which became the 2021 Academy Award Winner for Short Documentary Subject.

Actor Rell Be Free is a product of Seattle's South End and has grown into one of the city's leading hip-hop artists.  He is a multi-faceted musician, poet, performer and educator with a gift for inspiring a crowd with his lyrics.  Rell is endeared by his city and unapologetically speaks truth to power with creativity and charisma.

Actor Zora Howard is a Harlem-born critically acclaimed writer and actor who co-wrote and starred in the 2019 film "Premature". Her debut play, "Stew" premiered off-Broadway and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Current Team