creator stories.

Meet Nakia Stephens: Award-Winning Screenwriter Committed to Clever Storytelling

“Anyone can tell a story but not everyone can deliver the story in a clever, captivating, and unconventional way.”

Why is it important to have Black women behind the camera/writing scripts? What do you think about the way Black women are portrayed in mainstream film/media?

It’s important to have Black women behind the camera and scripting these stories because it’s our time to reclaim our Narratives. So many times the stories of Black Women and People of color have been left in the hands of people who don’t look like us and who have no real knowledge of what it’s like to be us; to be in this skin. No one can portray Black Sisterhood like the Black Woman, No one can portray Black Motherhood like the black woman; Black Heartbreak, Black Strength, Resilience, Joy, Love, Sexuality all of these strands that make up the very fabric of our being. Who better to tell that story than Us?

Tell me about the moment you decided to create CreamxCoffee. What was the motivation? Why was this story important to tell?

“Cream x Coffee is a story conceived from hypothetical thoughts regarding interracial dating. After speaking with a friend of mine who was in an interracial relationship, she revealed her concerns and struggles with her partner as it related to racial injustices in this country. That sparked my curiousity. It’s such a sensitive time in American history where both the racial and economic injustices against people of color and the current political climate make it easy to label Non People of Color as “enemies until proven allies”, so I wanted to write a perspective series. One that explores race, love, and self identity.

What makes a film great for you?

Anyone can tell a story but not everyone can deliver the story in a clever, captivating, and unconventional way. How does the film incorporate words, color, or emotion? Is the story told out of order, do I have to piece together the puzzle? Am I emotionally attached to the Hero? Can I relate to the Villain? In my opinion, what makes a film great is the intelligent packaging and unpackaging of characters, plot, and premise.

What advice would you give to up and coming screenwriters/filmmakers?

Create don’t Wait. Do what you can with what you have! Always be writing and always be creating something!

If you could meet a screenwriter/filmmaker of your choice who would it be and why?

I would say Mara Brock-Akil or Shonda Rhimes because they are my FairyFilmothers and I admire their creativity and resilience as Black Women in this business! I would love to shadow them and get some deeper insight on how they handle being Screenwriters/Showrunners .

What has been a huge challenge for you that you’ve learned from?

A Huge Challenge for me, that I have learned from, is choosing my partnerships wisely. I have learned that I must be very selective with collaborations in order to protect the integrity of my art, the essence of my mission and my own creative energy. I learned this lesson around 2014/2015 and ever since I have been blessed with an amazing tribe of filmmakers who have helped me create amazing work and I hope to continue to attract filmmakers who are aligned with my goals as a screenwriter.

Any upcoming projects?

Season 2 of Cream x Coffee is in Post Production, Working on a Comedy Series and a Crime Drama, as well as a Psychological Thriller Short Film.

Where can we find you online?

Instagram and Twitter : @ScreenwriteHer_ My business is Damn Write Originals at www.damnwriteoriginals.com and on social media; Instagram : @DamnWriteOriginals , Twitter: @DWOriginals , Facebook : www.facebook.com/DamnWriteOriginals

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