Award Winning Filmmaker Debra Martin Chase Discusses Producing ‘Harriet’ and Uplifting the African American Story on Film [VIDEO]

Award Winning Filmmaker Debra Martin Chase Discusses Producing ‘Harriet’ and Uplifting the African American Story on Film [VIDEO]
Award winning Producer and Executive Producer Debra Martin Chase.

Two-time Emmy nominated film and television producer Debra Martin Chase, graced the red carpet at the American Black Film Festival Honors on Feb 23rd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Film Producers Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Debra Martin Chase on the red carpet of Harriet premiere.

Film Producers Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Debra Martin Chase on the red carpet at the Harriet premiere.

During her red carpet interview with ChicagoNow.com The Art of New Media,  Martin Chase, a Chicago native and a former Advisory Board Member at Columbia College of Chicago, expressed endearment for her home town. “I love Chicago.  My mom lives in Hyde Park. All my relatives are all over the south side and in Evanston,” exclaims Martin Chase. “I’m going next weekend for my cousin’s wedding.”

WATCH: Debra Martin Chase interview, The Production Crew On Camera.

(L-R) Actor Leslie Odom Jr., actor Henry Hunter Hall, actor Vonde Curtis-Hall, director Kasi Lemmons, actor Cynthia Erivo, producer Daniela Taplin Lundberg, producer Debra Martin Chase, composer Terence Blanchard, actor Zackary Momoh, and actress Vanessa Bell Calloway attend the Washington, DC premiere of "Harriet" at the Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History on October 22, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo: Getty Images North America)

(L-R) Actor Leslie Odom Jr., actor Henry Hunter Hall, actor Vonde Curtis-Hall, director Kasi Lemmons, actor Cynthia Erivo, producer Daniela Taplin Lundberg, producer Debra Martin Chase, composer Terence Blanchard, actor Zackary Momoh, and actress Vanessa Bell Calloway attend the Washington, DC premiere of Harriet at the Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History on October 22, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo: Getty Images North America)

Martin Chase has an impressive portfolio that includes notable film and television projects like Sparkle, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Cheetah Girls and The Preacher’s Wife.   Her most recent accomplishment was producing the megahit film Harriet, where she received high praise for her contribution and a Movie Of The Year Award nomination at this year’s American Black Film Festival Honors.

Producer Debra Martin Chase on set during filming of Harriet. Photo: Focus Features

Producer Debra Martin Chase on the set during filming of Harriet. Photo: Focus Features

“The fact that Hidden Figures was such a huge hit, both critically and financially, helped us get Harriet made.” says Martin Chase, who’s recognized as one of the most prolific African American female film producers of the past three decades. “They look at it and say ‘there’s a real audience for that’.  The fact that we’ve been really successful, will help other movies about women,  historical women of color, be made.”

Award winning Producer Debra Martin Chase conducting an interview with Daina Howze of DVIDEO 79 Productions for the documentary The Production Crew. Photo: Don Howze, DVIDEO 79 Productions.

Award winning Producer Debra Martin Chase conducting an interview with Daina Howze of DVIDEO 79 Productions for the documentary The Production Crew. Photo: Don Howze, DVIDEO 79 Productions.

Martin Chase shared her ideology on today’s film industry and how moviegoers can enjoy more incredible storytelling of the Black experience.  She says each successful African American film can lead to others being produced.

“Support them. And I don’t believe in supporting everything that's black, just ‘because’,” says Martin Chase. “Because if its not good, don’t support it.  Obviously Black Panther blew the socks off this sucker and said 'oh my gosh, there’s a global box office for black movies.'  But support the right black movies.”

WATCH: Debra Martin Chase interview, The Production Crew On Camera.

Poster Art for The Production Crew documentary. Produced by DVIDEO 79 Productions, funded in part by The Field Foundation of Illinois.

Poster Art for The Production Crew documentary. Produced by DVIDEO 79 Productions, funded in part by The Field Foundation of Illinois.

For young filmmakers and television producers, Martin Chase says if you want to be in this business, there are a few major steps to follow. “Learn your craft.  So if you’re an actor, study acting. If you’re a writer, study screenwriting, go to grad school.  If you’re a director- they’re  producing programs, great ones at USC and NYU.”

WATCH: The Production Crew [TRAILER]

In addition to being interviewed for ChicagoNow.com, the Chicago based production company DVIDEO 79 Productions also captured footage for their film documentary The Production Crew, funded in part by The Field Foundation of Illinois.

DVIDEO 79 Productions is also producing a short form documentary-series titled The Production Crew On Camera.  Debra Martin Chase, Mike Colter, Elise Neal, Deon Taylor, Erica Ash and Michael Jai White are just a few of the many actors, producers, and directors featured in the docu-series.

The Production Crew On Camera is produced for content on mobile streaming platforms like the ground-breaking Quibi entertainment app. Each mini documentary is designed to inspire young filmmakers and educate new media students with a behind-the-scene perspective of television and film production.

American Black Film Festival Honors is an annual awards ceremony saluting excellence in the motion picture and television industry. The event celebrates Black culture by recognizing individuals who have made distinguished contributions to American entertainment, as well as those who champion diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.

About the Author:  Don Howze is an Emmy Award Winning Film/Tape Editor and Associate Professor of Journalism and Television Production.  Don is the producer and director of the upcoming film documentary The Production Crew, funded in part by The Field Foundation of Illinois.  imdb.me/dondvideo

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