Let’s give kudos to the filmmakers whose projects engage the viewer by tackling important subjects. One such filmmaker is Shauntay Cherry. Meet Shauntay as she tells us what she is trying to accomplish through her films!
1. Tell us about yourself.
Shauntay Cherry: I’m an independent (award-winning) filmmaker from Brooklyn, New York. I produce spiritually-themed dramatic narratives that are intended to serve as a catalyst for healing and growth, as well as entertain. I have a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University (SU) in television, radio and film, and a Master’s degree in Media Management, also from SU. I’ve written, directed and produced 8 short films, and I’ll be shooting my first feature in 2018.
2. What genre of film do you want to make?
3. What was the first project with which you were involved in some capacity?
The first project I was involved with post-Ed was a short film I wrote, directed and produced called, “In the Garden”. The film took a contemporary look into Adam and Eve’s relationship as a couple struggling to repair a marriage corroded by blame and resentment after being expelled from the garden.
4. Your present project is “Silent Cries”. What was your motivation to make “Silent Cries: The Prelude”?
“Silent Cries” was originally imagined as a feature that explores how the trauma of paternal abandonment affects men and their interpersonal relationships with women. As a young woman, I found myself dating men with self-esteem issues and fear of emotional intimacy. The one thing they all had in common is that they were grappling to understand why their fathers had abandoned them both emotionally and physically. I saw their pain and decided it was an issue that needed to be addressed. I shot the short as a proof of concept piece.
5. What message are you conveying in the film?
I convey the message that parental abandonment causes a trauma that can be perpetuated generationally if left untreated.
6. At what film festivals has “Silent Cries” been shown? What awards has it been nominate and which has it won? What future festivals are booked?
“Silent Cries: The Prelude” has been shown at 17 festivals nationally including Ocktober Film Festival, Validate Yourself Film Festival, Gary International Black Film Festival, Black Underground Film Fest, Katra Film Series. It has won 3 Best Film Awards and 1 award for Best Director. We have 2 more festivals booked; Denton Black Film Festival in Texas and S.E. Manly Film Festival in Los Angeles.
7. Describe the reaction of people attending the screenings.
The reaction to the film has been overwhelming. It ranges from crying to hugging and thanking me for making the film. Audience members have been sharing their personal stories and pain, as well as discussing forgiveness and reconciliation with their fathers. It’s been beautiful.
8. Tell us about Heart of David Pictures. Why did you establish this company? What services does it offer?
Heart of David Pictures is a film production company that produces spiritually-themed films that are raw and without pretense. The films are intended to serve as a catalyst for healing and growth, but also to assist in connecting us to God from a place of truth. I started this company to create a brand that would give the audience a return on their investment, a message that would resonate in their hearts long after the film was over. Through my company, I offer writing and directing services.
9. Do you have plans for future projects?
Yes. Along with producing “Silent Cries” the feature film with actor/producer Okema T. Moore in the latter part of 2018, I will be releasing a new project from my production company in February 2018 called “Stalk His *ss”, which deals with a young woman’s discovery of self while in pursuit of love.
10. What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you in your filmmaking career?
The most exciting thing in my career has been having a short film that is the official selection of 19 festivals, and has garnered 7 nominations and 4 awards to date.
11. Anything else you want to tell our readers?
I will be fundraising for the feature [“Silent Cries”] early 2018 and for info regarding how you can support, please follow on my social media accounts.
12. How can people get in touch with you?
Instagram: @shauntaycherry @silentcriesproject
Facebook: @silentcriesproject The Silent Cries Project
We have learned that Shauntay Cherry produced “Silent Cries: The Prelude” (a short film) as a proof of concept, allowing for the possibility of expanding it into a feature. What a great idea! Based on its success, Shauntay WILL be doing just that!
Please provide feedback or questions in the Comments. I would really enjoy hearing from you.
Originally published December 29, 2017. Updated December 30, 2017 to correct a spelling error. Updated August 19, 2020 to adjust category assignments.