- LOS ANGELES
Directors Terence Nance, Jenn Nkiru, and Bradford Young along with producers Mishka Brown and Nanette Nelms have launched Ummah Chroma Creative Partners (UCCP), an independent, artist-led production company.
Ummah Chroma Creative Partners’ intention is to create a unique space of fostering to create, elevate and preserve authentic Black narratives and perspectives in all media, including advertising, television, cinema and art.
“Our purpose in forming an independent company is to retain the freedom to create projects and processes with collective values and to maintain agency in telling our own stories,” said the founders in a mission statement.
Launched in partnership with Serial Pictures, Ummah Chroma Creative Partners will represent their own directors’ collective The Ummah Chroma, in addition to other artists and filmmakers for branded entertainment, commercials and music videos.
Serial Pictures’ founder Violaine Etienne will act as an executive producer alongside the UCCP’s founding partners. Each member of The Ummah Chroma will continue pursuing individual directing projects through their respective commercial representation: Young is represented by Serial Pictures; Nance is repped by Anonymous Content, and Nkiru by Iconoclast.
Director Young was nominated for a Best Cinematography Oscar in 2017 for Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival. He has lensed notable work in film and TV, including Ava DuVernay’s Selma and When They See Us, and Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. Young has successfully diversified into directing and joined Serial’s roster as a solo helmer last year. Nance’s filmography includes his first feature, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won a Gotham Award. Nance’s TV series Random Acts of Flyness debuted on HBO in 2018 and went on to win a Peabody Award. Nance has been active making music, scoring his own films and TV series, and working with groundbreaking musicians in the process. His additional film work includes Swimming in Your Skin Again and Univitillen. And Nkiru is an accomplished artist and filmmaker. Her directorial credits include Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl,” which last month was one of five entries to earn Grand Prix distinction at the Ciclope Festival. Nkiru’s first film En Vogue debuted to critical acclaim. And her Rebirth Is Necessary won the Canal+ award at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, best documentary at the London Independent Film Festival, and the Voice of a Woman award at Cannes.
Killing In Thy Name
The first project to be released by UCCP is the powerful documentary film Killing In Thy Name in collaboration with Rage Against the Machine and directed by The Ummah Chroma. The film is framed around the band’s iconic protest anthem “Killing in the Name”, and the directors state their “aim is for the piece to be a fire escape from the fiction known as whiteness and a spring for discovery.”
“We are honored to partner with Ummah Chroma Creative Partners in supporting their vision and commitment as they create a communal creative space and incubator for artists and filmmakers in Black cinema and art,” said Serial Pictures founding partner Etienne. “Our industry has lacked inclusivity in not only what stories are being told, but how they’re told and by whom. Working with these powerful storytellers, we are looking forward to reshaping that approach with an open-ended, equitable collaborative process.”
Previous credits for The Ummah Chroma, which was originally conceived in its first iteration by Young, Nance, Nkiru, editor Marc Thomas, and musical artist and producer Kamasi Washington, include the short film As Told To G/D Thyself, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Short Film Grand Jury Prize.
Production Executive produced by Rage Against the Machine and Ummah Chroma Creative Partners; The Ummah Chroma, director; Jomo Fray, cinematographer; Akin McKenzie, production designer; Annalise Lockhart, 1st assistant director; Amanda Andrews, co-producer. Editorial Stefani Saintonge, editor. Sound Design Waajeed, sound designer.