Tuesday, March 7, 2017

R. Shanea Williams On Developing Her First Feature Psychological Horror-Thriller


A craftswoman of the highest calliber, R. Shanea Williams' thirst for genre storytelling with complex, women of color leads makes her a filmmaker/artist that everyone should be eyeballing. I am thankful to have grown to know her and her work over these past few years as I was first blown away by her short Contamination and from there, a happy advocate for her psychological horror mini, Paralysis. Getting word of her venture into developing a feature film seemed only natural.

*From the Press Release

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, 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 Urban World Film Festival and won Williams the Rising Star Award at the Richmond International Film Festival.

While details of the plot remain under wraps, Williams and Davis are currently in the process of seeking funding to make their feature film dream come to life.

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,” Davis said. “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.”

R. Shanea Williams is a native of Richmond, Virginia and currently lives in Queens, New York. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2003 with a BA in English and received her MFA in dramatic writing (with a concentration in screenwriting) from New York University in 2008. Williams was a quarterfinalist in the 2007 Slamdance Screenwriting Competition, and in 2011, she was a top 5 screenplay finalist in the Urbanworld Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. Her Twitter account is: @rshanea722

Producer Anthony J. Davis is an assistant production accountant in both film and television. The Richmond, Virginia native has worked on several major film productions, including the Academy Award-nominated film Lincoln, Marvel’s Ant-Man and Prisoners, as well as Fox’s STAR. His Instagram account is: davis61375
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