District of Columbia Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment

04/09/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/09/2024 13:21


Washington, D.C. - The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCFTME) is thrilled to announce Tanya Upshur as the Filmmaker of the Month for April 2024. Tanya is a Washington, DC native with Southern roots who is passionate about mysticism, Southern Gothic, dark comedy, history, fantasy, and horror. As an award-winning filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist, she is known for her narrative and poetic works that combine personal experiences, history, and current events. Her stories often feature the perspectives of working-class people and black women.

"We are excited to highlight Tanya as our Filmmaker of the Month for April 2024. Her passion for storytelling and her ability to blend history, current events, and personal experiences into her works is truly remarkable. We are excited to see what the future holds for her and are honored to showcase her work as a testament to her exceptional talent and unwavering dedication to her craft," says Director LaToya Foster.

Tanya has a diverse range of experiences both in front of and behind the camera. She has performed in various productions, including Storm Signals with the African-American Collective Theater and National Geographic's The Real George Washington. Tanya has also worked as a production assistant, transportation assistant, stand-in, and assistant producer for numerous film and television projects, such as House of Cards, Loving, and Yin & Yang Mandala of Life.

Tanya's passion for film began when she started taking film courses at Trinity Washington University. She later completed a documentary filmmaking workshop at Docs In Progress and produced her first film, The Foggy Bottom Morris Men. She further honed her documentary film production skills at American University, where she received her Master of Arts in Communication: Producing Film, Television, and Video in 2018. Tanya's dedication to the craft led her to receive certification for Directing: Core Elements from Sundance Collab earlier this year.

"I am honored to be recognized as the Filmmaker of the Month by OCTFME. My passion lies in creating films that combine horror and fantasy elements, told from the perspectives of working-class people and black women. This acknowledgment affirms my dedication to storytelling through writing, filmmaking, and performing. I am grateful for the exposure this recognition will bring to my work and proud to be among the talented creators in DC," says Tanya Upshur.

Tanya's unique perspective and creative approach have earned her recognition and awards in the film industry. Her short documentary film Birth! Place received the 2019 Black Women Cinema Week "Storyteller Award" and was included in The Living Altar exhibition presented by Soil and Shadow, Kalliopeia Foundation, and MoCADA in 2022. Her latest project, Blue Supper, is a short, silent narrative that aims to de-stigmatize mental illness. She is currently in pre-production for her short live-action fantasy film, Dogged, which will be filmed in DC.

Tanya's stage play Shiftlet, presented as a staged reading in 2012 at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts as part of the Artists Project, produced by Lynn Ritland and directed by Richard Washer, originates from her experiences while visiting an incarcerated relative in a rural prison-town. Tanya has since adapted this play into a screenplay, Wilder Madness, a horror about an urban city girl turned paranormal beast hunter, which goes into production in fall 2024.

Tanya Upshur's impressive body of work speaks for itself, showcasing her exceptional talent and unwavering commitment to her craft. We do not doubt that her bold and innovative approach to filmmaking will continue to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide. As Tanya Upshur continues to make her mark on the film industry, we eagerly anticipate the groundbreaking projects she has in store for the future.

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The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) launched the "Filmmaker of the Month" initiative as a vehicle for highlighting the talents and creative contributions of filmmakers that make the District of Columbia their home. The "Filmmaker of the Month" initiative is part of OCTFME's mission to elevate the national and international profile of the District's talented filmmakers.

***If you know of a filmmaker that would make a great future "Filmmaker of the Month," you can send OCTFME your recommendations using this nomination form.
The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME), an award-winning District of Columbia Government agency, leads the city's extensive efforts to build and support a sustainable film, music, and entertainment creative economy and labor market. Additionally, OCTFME serves as the city's cable television service provider regulator and as the customer service hub for cable subscribers.

OCTFME's extensive portfolio includes:

For more on OCTFME: (202) 671-0066 or www.entertainment.dc.gov.

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