Talibah Lateefah Newman (Director/ Writer) – was planted, watered, and home grown in Dallas, Texas. She is a writer–director who is currently attending Columbia University’s MFA program for film directing. Talibah is the eldest of five and discovered her passion of filmmaking through writing short stories and shooting short films with her family at the tender age of 11. Talibah graduated from the Hockaday School of Dallas, Texas and went on to attend Columbia University’s undergraduate program majoring in film studies, African American studies, and creative writing. Post undergrad, Talibah decided to brave New York City landing several internships and jobs with Ted Hope’s This is That Production Company, Jonathan Demme’s Clinica Estetico, and Optomen Productions and Malcolm Lee’s Blackmaled Productions–Welcome Roscoe Jenkins and Soul Men.
As an M.F.A student, Talibah has sought to tell stories of familial relationships, precocious children, single character journeys into recreating identity, the complicated mosaic of religion and faith, and redefining race. Her films tackle the inner workings of family units as she seeks to discover the essence of what makes familial love last and replicate her own personal experiences with her family. Ms. Newman seeks to tell stories that are resonant of the bold, radiant, relentless, voices that have emerged from the familial and communal adventures that have marked her own journey from youth to adulthood.
Her films Our Father, Alterations and now Busted on Brigham Lane are a testament to her mission and fervor as a budding director and writer. In addition to her narrative directorial work, Talibah is also helming a documentary titled Hair Once Sacred, which chronicles her mother’s life work and activism as a natural hair care stylist in Dallas, Texas who was arrested for practicing the ancestral art of hair braiding. When not directing, Talibah continues to chisel at her soon to be debut feature film script titled Special, Based on The Dropout By Joseph Mathews, which is the coming of age story of a young African American boy who was unjustly placed in special education from the time he was in third grade until he decided to take control of his life and drop out. The story is heart wrenching as well as triumphant and speaks to the many irreconcilable issues that we are currently dealing with in our educational system in America. In addition, Ms. Newman has recently released a comedic webseries titled Famous Farrah and is currently finishing her first feature and working on an original television pilot.
Talibah is the 2012 Director’s Guild of America winner in the African American Category for her film Busted on Brigham Lane which was recently acquired by HBO for exhibition starting February of 2013. In addition, she has recently received a Princess Grace Honorarium as well as an Adrienne Shelly Foundation Award for her thesis film Sweet Honey Child, which is currently in post production.
Talibah’s Films have screened at The American Black Film Festival, Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, The Undergound Film Festival in Minneapolis, The Pan African Film Festival, Rooftop Film Festival, The MIST Girls Night Out Series, The South Dallas Cultural Film Series, HBO on Demand & HBO GO and many more outlets.