Get to know award winning film director Nefertite Nguvu and read more about her latest project, The Morning.

I am from… a long line of courageous women who defy odds every single day.

My life’s work… is about using my gifts as an artist to help affect change for my community.

I’m currently creating… the life I love.

The most enjoyable part of being a woman is… the kinship and sisterhood I feel with other women.

I am most proud of… being able to do what I love every single day.

The best advice I ever received was... to stay the course.

The world needs more… compassion, love and empathy.

I am happiest when… I’m creating.

I find inspiration from… everyday life, everyday people.

My most pivotal moment was… deciding to follow my passion and become a filmmaker.

TM: Where did you inspiration for In The Morning come from…

NN: Quite simply from the women in my life!  I wanted to make a film that reflected and honored the women I know.  In The Morning is my love letter to women: beautiful, smart, elegant, vulnerable, sensitive, complex, Black women who don’t often get to see themselves in movies.

TM: You directed it in 8 days, how did that work?

NN: Being a first time feature film director, navigating an ensemble cast of nine, and shooting in eight days was [admittedly] daunting.  It was very intense in terms of how much we needed to accomplish every day, but we actually had a blast! It was a whirlwind, but there was so much good energy on set, and everyone was so dedicated that it was a truly thrilling experience.  We all believed very strongly in what we were doing.

TM: How did this project challenge you?

NN: It’s been a five-year journey for In The Morning. It’s been full of challenges, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I’ve learned so much through this process and have accomplished things I never would have thought possible.  I feel that I’ve become a better artist for it, for the patience it’s taught me, for the courage it’s given me, and for all that I’ve learned through my collaborations with the incredible people that leant their gifts to our film. This project has been about growth.  I’m so happy that we stayed the course, and pushed through despite the challenges, we made a film that I’m so incredibly proud of in the process.

TM: What are your thoughts on Hollywood’s diversity problem?

NN: I think there are a lot of people doing very important work to help remedy that.  However, beyond waiting on transformations within those power structures, independent artists are making tremendous strides towards changing this dynamic by creating the films we want to see.  If I had waited on ‘Hollywood,’ my film would never have been made.  Big, bold, beautiful things are happening in Black Independent Cinema.  The advancement in technology, and access to crowd funding are helping a great deal in terms of access.  Our narrative is expanding and I’m excited to be apart of that.

TM: How can it be changed?

NN: Black women filmmakers are making huge leaps and bounds these days, telling our own stories in film.  There is so much conversation about the lack of diversity and access in the film industry, but ultimately we have the power to help shift the paradigm and support that which we want to see.  Audiences can help bring about this change by supporting inclusive work.  Hollywood follows the money!

TM: This film examines the power of choice, how important is this?  

NN: Freedom is essential to ones humanity.  It is the divine thing that we are all fighting and searching for, both individually and collectively.  Freedom is everything.

TM: Where and when can we watch In The Morning?

NN: You can watch In The Morning any time on demand via the following platforms: VHX AmazonVimeo | Comcast Xfinity – For those who’d like a theatrical experience, I’m very excited to share that we’ll be screening the film in select cities.  More info on our screening tour can be found on our website: www.inthemorning-thefilm.com

Get Nefertite’s spring favorites here: