Written by Jessica L. Dupree
Edited by Craig Dewey Stanley
Photos & Video by Craig Dewey Stanley
At this year’s third annual Micheaux Film Festival award ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Amin Joseph, star of FX’s Snowfall revealed what it’s like to be part of one of history’s longest standing legacies, while working to build his own.
The festival recognized and celebrated BIPOC creators and diversity in media. Founded by Noel Braham and Courtney Branch, the festival gets its name from pioneering African American author and filmmaker Oscar Micheux. This year, the in-person and digital festival featured more than 180 projects, and more than $70,000 was given away in prizes. Hollywood Legend Robert Townsend was awarded the Oscar Micheaux Trailblazer of Excellence Award for his contributions to both mainstream and independent Hollywood,
Like Micheaux and Townsend, filmmaker John Singleton left his legacy on Hollywood and the world, giving us classics such as “Boyz n the Hood,” “Poetic Justice,” “Baby Boy,” and one of his final projects, the television crime drama “Snowfall,” in which Harlem-born Joseph was cast.
“To put people in positions and also tell the type of stories that put our culture in the center of the frame, close up, and let us see our own humanity,” Joseph said, “that’s John Singleton.”
The versatile actor stars Jerome Saint on the popular series, co-created by John Singleton. Singleton passed unexpectedly in 2019.
“I’m ecstatic to be a part of his legacy,” Joseph said. “There’s a circle of truth around my head to uphold everything that he ushered in.
In addition to acting, Joseph is following in the footsteps of the aforementioned cinematic trailblazers, producing, filmmaking, and starting his production company, Dark Energy Pictures. Joseph has no plans of slowing down.
“I’ll get it done,” Joseph has said on social media. “No tiptoeing around the fragile. Get out the way.”
The Howard graduate shared more with Heart & Soul on the red carpet during the 2021 Michaeux Film Festival:
Q. As a lead on Snowfall, John Singleton’s final creation as filmmaker, what was it like working with the legendary filmmaker and being given that once in a lifetime opportunity?
A. John Singleton was a God send for so many people that are monuments in this industry. So it just shows that how many people that he affected with his craft, with his art, with his enthusiasm, with his unapologetic truth to power. To put people in positions and also tell the type of stories that put our culture in the center of the frame, close up, and let us see our own humanity. That’s John Singleton and I’m ecstatic to be a part of his legacy and there’s a circle of truth around my head to uphold everything that he ushered in.
Q. And what a lot of people don’t know about you is just how influential and impactful you are behind the scenes in Hollywood. For instance, you are a producer of several films. So, talk to us about being a producer in Hollywood and your impact behind the scenes.
A. I think going back to that circle of truth– once someone like John Singleton empowers you, you realize that with the storytelling you’re able to shift the consciousness and that you’re able to inspire so many young children from neighborhoods like where I came from in New York, like Harlem. As a producer, I’m able to tell stories now that reflect my humanity and the humanity that I used to see in my community. So many stories that we have spread throughout the diaspora about us unapologetically. So much empathy and so much heart, intelligence, genius – that’s our culture, that’s black culture. So, I like to be a steward of that, and the films that I’m producing show that.
Q. What do you want your legacy to be and also on top of that what are your next projects that you have coming out?
A. As far as legacy, I will let my community determine that. I’ll let the film community determine that. The biggest legacy is to my family and my community, and then as far as projects coming up. I have a few coming up I don’t like to talk about stuff. Bring thing into fruition before you talk about it. Be less to talk about it unless you can do it. I like to do it and let that thing be seen.