PRESENTED BY | THE NATIONAL BLACK PROGRAMMING CONSORTIUM (NBPC)
ABOUT THE FILM
Counter is a short film about Martin Luther King Jr.’s strategic advisor, Bayard Rustin. Set in 1942 Indianapolis, Bayard Rustin, recently fired from the ranks of a rapidly approaching march, commits a reckless one-person sit-in at a local diner run by a rare female business owner. She unsympathetically refuses to serve Bayard a burger.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
ELLIOTT WILLIAMS, PRODUCER
Elliott Williams was born in Seattle, but claims New York, North Carolina and Los Angeles as home. He has lived on both coasts, but he's almost lived in half the states in the US. He began his corporate career as a management professional in the Fortune 10 Company GE Capital before moving on to pharmaceutical sales and management. Williams is also an Emmy award-winning producer who began his career behind the camera with a bit of good fortune. Williams’ first professional offering was the 2010 Official Sundance Selection Night Catches Us, which was also a winner at the Seattle International Film Festival and nominated for Best First Feature at the Film Independent Spirit Awards before being distributed by Magnolia Pictures.
He went back to school and earned a Master's degree in Producing from the American Film Institute (AFI) and while there, he produced the award-winning comedy web series #nitTWITS based on funny tweets. Upon completion of school, his thesis film, Usagi-san, won The Grand Jury Prize at the Ivy Film Festival, a Student Emmy Award and a BAFTA-LA Special Jury Prize. He also began writing at AFI and The Murch is his first screenplay. Williams is very happy and proud to be a part of Film Independent's Project Involve and Screenwriting Lab and can't wait to see this film reach its full potential.
NICHOLAS BOUIER, DIRECTOR
A native of Detroit, Nicholas Bouier obtained his B.A. in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing and graduated with honors from Morehouse College in 2008. Bouier began his studies in film at Columbia College, Chicago and completed his MFA at AFI, where he’s currently completing his thesis, The Other Sister. His film, Lost in Aisle 4, was awarded the Golden Palm at the 2011 Mexico International Film Festival. Since graduating from AFI, Bouier has taken an interest in comedy and began studying improv technique at The Groundlings School. In addition to improv, Bouier has taken up the always-embarrassing art form of stand-up comedy. Bouier is a proud member of the 2014 class of Film Independent’s Project Involve program, which is dedicated to cultivate the next generation of film artists. Outside of film, Bouier works as a substitute teacher and coach.
Q. TERAH JACKSON, SCREENWRITER
Q. Terah Jackson is a writer-director of screen and stage who wrote Counter, a Project Involve short film about a young Bayard Rustin conducting a solo sit-in at a 1942 diner. An alumnus of the American Film Institute Conservatory, Jackson is noted for his thesis, Rustin, as a Nicholls’ Top 50 Screenplay and Writers Guild of America-West Feature Access Program Honoree. His science fiction saga, Julius-X On Dying Earth, has attracted the attention of the Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant Program. Jackson’s storytelling is influenced by nine years of work enhancing the education of Washington DC’s youth through government policy and theater arts working with Ford’s Theatre Society and the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theatre. Jackson is a 2008 Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab participant as well as a 2011 Fall Narrative Intern for Participant Media. He is currently developing an immigration-related film, a feature on the economic downturn and sci-fi mystery for TV. He is an avid comic book collector.
ALAN TORRES, CINEMATOGRAPHER
Alan Torres is a visionary cinematographer looking to break the limits of conventional filmmaking by creating imagery previously thought unimaginable. Raised as a midwesterner in a Mexican-American family, Torres grew up fascinated by technology and preferred to tinker with his fathers Apple computer than play outside with the neighborhood kids. From a young age Torres was pushed by his parents to be creative and was given his first video camera in seventh grade. Torres combined his technical and creative skills to direct his first film, a twenty-five minute short titled The Fuzz. A few years later Torres was introduced to scuba diving and discovered a new world of cinematic possibilities underwater. From that moment forward Torres knew that a career as a cinematographer would combine his intrinsic desire for technology, adventure, and creativity in his life.
Torres began his formal study of film at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2008 where he surrounded himself with like-minded filmmakers. In addition to directing two award-winning documentaries, Torres’s college career culminated with his role as the director of photography of Duvid, one of the university's largest productions to date premiering at the Traverse City Film Festival to rave reviews. Not wasting any time, Torres moved to Los Angeles twelve hours after his graduation ceremony and has been working as a freelance cinematographer ever since. In 2013 he was accepted into the prestigious Film independent’ s Project Involve program and most recently wrapped production on Consideration, his first feature film as director of photography.
FERNANDO VIQUEZ, EDITOR
Fernando is a Grammy-nominated, award-winning producer/editor experienced in commercials, trailers, music videos and documentaries. Fernando recently edited two epic short films – Falling Snow and Letter from Lorca – receiving high praise and recognition in the festival circuit. Fernando is currently expanding his craft into feature films and is a fellow in Film Independent’s emerging filmmakers Project Involve signature program.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL BLACK PROGRAMMING CONSORTIUM
The National Black Programming Consortium is committed to a fully realized expression of democracy. We support diverse voices by developing, producing and distributing innovative media about the Black experience and by investing in visionary content makers. Founded in 1979, the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) develops, produces and funds media content about the Black experience for public media outlets, including television, digital radio and online. Since 1991, NBPC has invested more than $10 million dollars in iconic documentary content for public media outlets, including PBS and PBS.org; trained, mentored and supported a diverse array of producers who create content about contemporary black experiences; and emerged as a leader in the evolving next-media landscape. NBPC distributes engaging content online at BlackPublicMedia.org and via broadcast through its AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange documentary series.
ABOUT PROJECT INVOLVE
Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature diversity program dedicated to cultivating the careers of filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the industry. The program, which runs from October through June, selects filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and filmmaking tracks – a mix of writers, directors, producers, DPs and editors, as well as those seeking work in acquisitions, marketing, distribution and agencies. During the nine months, the Fellows receive one-on-one mentorship, participate in a series of master workshops on the craft as well as the business of filmmaking, and work together to create a collection of short films. The program concludes in June when their short films premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival. When Project Involve began, it was specifically for young women of color, aged 18 to 24. Since then, the program has evolved to embody the broadest notion of inclusiveness. We have over 600 alumni who are now working in virtually every part of the film industry – in independent film, the studio world, television, the web and more.
Full 2015 Film List
#TheFutureIsCrowdFunded | 11 Paper Place | 11-Minute Mile | 20/Nothing | Banana Trip | Counter | Disorder | Ex-Votos | Good Soil | Great Lakes Aurora Hunters | Helpless | I Am A Fly Fisher | I Am An Alaska Native Dancer | Isabelle's Garden | Kilroy Was Here | Migrant Heroes | Once Again | Seed Art | Sinner Victim Saint | Sugarless Tea | The Fishing Club | The Last Viewing | To Kill or Not to Kill | Un Buen Carnicero | Vimana