PVAMU graduate aims to empower a new generation of filmmakers
Micole Williams has set her “reels” in motion to empower and inspire a new generation of filmmakers.
A high school teacher by day and an independent filmmaker on weekends, Williams is among the growing trend of independent filmmakers who are bypassing traditional venues for introducing their projects to audiences and creating their own opportunities.
A resident of Missouri City, Texas, Williams laid the groundwork for her creative vision with the launch of Will-M-Power, a media arts company created to provide more opportunities for African-American filmmakers. In her quest to open doors of opportunity in the industry, Williams has self-published her first book, produced her first independent film and created a web series.
Her independent film, “Tangled Web of True Love Tales,” titled after the book, premiered at the Landmark River Oaks Theatre to a packed house of family and friends earlier this year. Williams describes her novel as “a modern day tale as old as time” that showcases the journey of seven young African-American women, their choices in men, and their struggles with the seven deadly sins. “There are many women out there in this male-dominated industry, but we are not as visible.
“I try to do my part by telling stories that are on my heart, and hopefully, both women and men support those efforts,” says Williams.
Impacted by the work of women in the film industry, such as Felicia Henderson, Yvette Lee Bowser, Debbie Allen and Suzanne DePasse, Williams hopes to use her talents to produce more film projects in the future, particularly for women of color.
A graduate of Hightower High School Media Academy and Prairie View A&M University, where she majored in mass
communications, Williams is an example of preparation meeting self-made opportunity. “Hightower High Schools Media Academy gave me a good foundation and belief that my voice is relevant,” says Williams.
She also received support from her college peers to pursue her dreams in the film industry.
“My peers at PVAMU were supportive of my efforts and seemed to believe in me and there were a lot of people pushing
for me to make it in this type of work,”says Williams.
Ted Irving, her former high school media academy instructor, served as a mentor on the project, along with local filmmaker and music producer, Sean Blaze and filmmaker, Chigozie Nwokeafor, shares Williams.
Williams took time off from teaching when she started working on her film.
“I was at a crossroads career-wise wondering what was my next step because I was taking a sabbatical from teaching,
looking for full-time work, in or outside of education. So the idea of doing a film was risky and out of the question,” says
She persisted in her efforts, driven by a bucket list she created when she was in middle school.
“Every year, since the seventh grade, I fine-tuned this bucket list that listed 100 things on it, and making a film was a
major priority of mine,” says Williams.
In less than the time span of a year, Williams was able to gather a crew of talented individuals to help with the project.
She used the knowledge and hands-on training she received in both high school and college to handle everything from assembling a crew tosecuring film locations to editing and promoting the film.
“The actors were heaven-sent. I couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated, passionate, and talented group to work with fresh out of the gate. They all understood that I was just getting my grassroots business off the ground and wanted to do something to make a name for myself toget my vision out there,” says Williams.
Aside from going after her dreams, Williams also is passionate about teaching.
“Although it is an ongoing challenge, it has made me a better person more so than any other job and I hope to always learn how to become better at it. Patience is not an option. Compassion is so necessary. You need these two things to be successful with anything you are passionate about,” says the multi-faceted filmmaker.
She credits her faith in God as the key factor in helping bring her recent film to life.
“God did it for me! There were many times I didnt see how it would come about and he showed me a way out of no
way. He intervened in a number of situations that could have been detrimental and allowed favor to be granted for the
film,” says Williams.
And if her current accomplishments werent enough, Williams also recently was one of 18 women selected in a nationwide search to take part in Mary Kay Inspiring Stories, a film production contest that brings women, ages 18 and older, together to create three documentaries focused on breaking the cycle of domestic violence.
Williams flew out to Los Angeles in August to take part in a 7-day production process where she and other contest
winners learned the pre-and-post-production aspects of creating a documentary.
It was a nationwide search and I felt really fortunate to have gotten an opportunity to do what I love,” says Williams.
While in LA, Williams and other participants listened to the stories of domestic abuse survivors, and worked with celebrity narrator, Alexa Vega to create the documentaries which will be showcased online at www.MaryKay– InspiringStories.com from October 1-31.
Williams has made significant creative strides since picking up a pen to write her first story at the age of 3.
Now 28, she plans to continue to use her gift for story-telling to empower and inspire a new generation of filmmakers to share their stories.
“I can’t wait to see what God has in store,” says Williams, “Since he is the best story-teller out there.”