Published on March 2nd, 2023 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
Roderick Lawrence, Award-Winning Actor/Producer on Art and Activism
Roderick Lawrence, award-winning actor/producer, and co-founder of Black Man Films along with partner Salma Qarnain, recently zoomed in with me for a Live Session interview where we discussed his latest film projects, including his soon-to-be-showcased short film, “Speak Up Brotha!” and the work he and his company are doing to bring films about the Black experience to Hollywood.
Black Man Films is a powerful production company in New York City that produces films that merge art with activism. Their previous film, “Silent Partner,” explored microaggressions and Black mental health and was a massive success on the film festival circuit, even becoming an Oscar contender in 2022.
In February, Roderick Lawrence completed filming for “Speak Up Brotha!”, a film exploring anxiety and a man and woman who learn to communicate through each other’s love languages. The film also stars Terrence “TC” Carson (“Living Single”) and will premiere at its first film festival in March. A Black Man Films Instagram post describes what to expect from the new piece.
View this post on Instagram
I’ve had the pleasure of watching the screener but, sworn to secrecy, all I can say is this took me through a range of emotions in less than 15 minutes, from frustration with the main character to the hopefulness of an impending and much-needed change, to pride for someone who overcame. There was an unexpected deeper-level smile during the climax if you peep the metaphor. Oh, it’s a full ride I promise!!! 5/5 for me.
During our conversation, Roderick discussed his passion for bringing films about the Black experience to Hollywood, which are often ignored. He spoke about the challenges he and his company have faced in getting their films made and distributed, but also about the tremendous impact their work has had on audiences worldwide.
Roderick’s latest film projects, have received critical acclaim and are helping to change the narrative around the Black experience in America. They tackle important issues such as microaggressions and mental health, bringing these topics to the forefront of popular culture.
Roderick Lawrence’s Journey
Alongside the mantle of producer, Roderick Lawrence is a highly acclaimed actor and the Co-Founder of Black Man Films. He is a 2022 BronzeLens Film Festival BEST ACTOR recipient (Oscar-qualifying) and a 2020 AUDELCO nominee. His credits include Simba in Disney’s “The Lion King” National Tour, Ramses in the Broadway-bound “The Prince of Egypt,” Othello in John Leguizamo’s “Othello: The Remix,” Floyd Barton in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars” and Jesus in “Godspell.” During the pandemic, Roderick created, starred in, and produced the multi-award-winning narrative short, “Silent Partner,” which dominated the festival circuit garnering 19 festival acceptances (4 Oscar qualifiers; 8 awards and nominations), was a finalist in the HBO MAX® Latino Short Film Competition, and qualified for Oscar contention. Lawrence is repped by Kat Hargrave at DGRW.
Overall, my Live Session conversation with Roderick Lawrence was lively, informative, and filled with moments of comedy relief. It was inspiring to hear about the incredible work he and his company are doing in their mission to bring films about the Black experience to Hollywood, and we look forward to sharing more on what they have in store for us in the future. Tune In!!!