Acclaimed writer-director R. Shanea Williams is making the leap from shorts to feature films. She is in the early stages of writing and developing her first feature.
“I am truly tremendously excited to bring this new vision to the screen,” Williams said. “I believe this project will be a bold step forward in genre-filmmaking centering black women protagonists and I could not be prouder to make this my first feature-length film. I’m attempting to defy genre with this feature. The best way to describe it is probably as a psychological horror-thriller. But it will be so much more.”
Williams recently completed the short film Paralysis, starring Nia Fairweather and Nedra McClyde, which remains active on the film festival circuit. The film won Best Screenplay at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Best Actress in a Short at the Las Vegas Black Film Fest. She also directed the short film Contamination, which was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2014 HBO/BET Urbanworld Film Festival and won Williams the Rising Star Award at the Richmond International Film Festival.
While details of the plot remain under wraps, this will mark the fourth collaboration between Williams and producer Anthony J. Davis through their production company, Vision 75/80. Davis, who is the assistant accountant on the new Lee Daniels Fox series “STAR,” is eager for audiences to experience a new kind of terror.
“We have received so much support from audiences on our previous projects and we know our first feature film will be the next level in our cinematic journey,” says Davis. “It’s going to be a film that not only has plenty of scares, but also raises serious issues. I like to see it as a thinking-person’s horror film.”
This announcement takes special precedence as February doubles as both Black History Month and Women in Horror Month (WiHM). WiHM, according to their official website, is “an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries,” with an ultimate goal of “helping works by and featuring women reach a wider audience.”
And Vision 75/80’s track record proves that they do psychological horror, an uncommon perspective from Black filmmakers, very well. You can see more about their past and future projects at Vision7580.com.