By Jessica Dortch, Special to the AFRO
The native Washingtonian, Amil Barnes, is recognized as the Aug. 2019 Filmmaker of the Month. The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) in Washington D.C. started the “Filmmaker of the Month” initiative to highlight its creative community. As a filmmaker and founder of a creative digital agency, Barnes, is the perfect candidate.
Through his digital agency, Barnes Digital, he has produced and directed music videos for some of the industry’s hottest talent including K.Michelle, Shy Glizzy, Fetty Wap, and Dave East. Even with a natural knack for branding, design, and production, Barnes wants to get back to the basics of storytelling. “It’s all about filming movies. I’ve done music videos and documentaries that have garnered over 30 million cumulative views on YouTube. I want to actually own something that I do. So right now, I’m writing scripts and revisiting scripts that I wrote in 2008 to see how I have changed and how I can bring it all together.”
Washington D.C.’s Mayor Bowser formed the 202Creatives initiative after seeing the need to grow and sustain the creative community across all eight wards of the District. OCTFME’s “Filmmaker of the Month” award directly supports and elevates the District’s talented filmmakers. Although, the Johnson and Wales University graduate’s digital agency produces for industry-leading companies including Netflix, Apple Music, and Atlantic Records, Barnes is ecstatic about being recognized for his films. “It’s major for me to be spotlighted as the filmmaker of the month because my most recent works are documentaries. I love to tell the stories of the underdog; I don’t really do it to get recognition…” He adds.
Lately, Barnes created two documentaries entitled “Kingsbury,” and “Gamemasters.” The first film dives into the history of the 80-year-old Kingsbury Center in Northwest D.C., and the second tells the story of the “Gamemasters” app. “I do it to tell stories – that’s our job as filmmakers, you know. Being from DC, this is a true honor for me. I put in a lot [of] work over eleven years.” Barnes adds.