Switch Up Entertainment is a newly founded and developing production company that was launched in May 2017 by aspiring Hollywood writer-director-producer Juwan Chambers and his best friends, Eric Martin, Diamond Tillman, Albert Christie, and Cathy Stelling. They have been in operation for what is about to be a year at the end of May and they have put out 2 short films, gearing up to release their first web series, and a feature-length documentary. What’s the reason for their launch? They wanted to create entertaining, uplifting, challenging, diverse and inclusive content and bring forth equitable and authentic representation for women, LGBTQ+ individuals, people of color on and off the screen.
The first project this team of individuals released underneath their moniker Switch Up Entertainment was a silent 10 minute short film entitled “1 in 71”, starring unknown actors Sébastien Louis and Melody Vasquez. The short film “1 in 71” explores the mind of a soft-spoken college student struggling with being assaulted by their significant other. This 10 minute short was written and produced by Martin and Chambers, who also directs. The short served as one of two of Chambers’ senior year thesis assignments. It was produced by Albert Christie and Diamond Tillman, with Cathy Stelling serving as Executive Producer. The length of production was 2 days and all parties involved worked for free.
On January 5th, Chambers and company released the film on their Youtube platform for people to consume for free. They also submitted to several film festivals after its completion at the end of the fall semester and made it all the way to the Semi Finals of the Trinity Film Festival.
“Making this film was important to us and gave us a sense of responsibility because this is a subject matter that isn’t talked about enough, if at all really” notes Chambers. “And then to do this film with people of color made me extremely proud for two reasons. First and foremost, inclusion and representation is big for us because that it what our company is founded on, and then because this topic is something we don’t even discuss in communities of color,” he continued.
“It was also very timely given the recent conversation around sexual assault. It’s very surprising how the universe works because we wrote this film before the conversation and allegations arose in Hollywood. But it’s perfect time because the conversation can be opened up and become inclusive of all colors and genders and push it to keep going,” he ended.
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