WJBF – Deonté Bolden is a writer, director, and producer, who is using his creativity to provide encouragement and inspiration throughout the community.
Bolden chats with WJBF Digital about how he is looking to expand his reach by creating his own awards show, The Bolden Awards.
Thank you for joining us. Now, how did you get started in the arts?
It was kind of my escape after losing a brother. My brother passed in 2006. So, in high school, I kind of got into the arts; it was my kind of therapy to kind of zone out and go into my imaginary world. I started writing of course in 2015; I started Deonté Bolden Productions. I’ve been doing plays ever since and creating. I love being on stage and being in front of the camera as well, but I also love creating my own stories. I just find that it’s therapeutic for me. So, I’ve been ever since, yeah, 2015.
Looking back on your career so far, you’ve done two web series: The Price Of Fame and Wicked, a stage play entitled Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places, and two books: Differently Abled and Purpose Pains. What inspires you when it comes to creating content?
You know current topics and issues that are going on in our communities plus I’m all about inspiring people. I feel like we’re in a world now where there are a lot of things going on, and I find that if you’re creating something that can really bring a positive message to people and a lesson learned as well, that’s my inspiration: for people to be impacted by what I do. That’s pretty much the inspiration behind everything that I create.
As an artist, if you had to choose just one from series, films, theater, or books, which one would be “your thing” that you have to go to?
That’s hard. I would say film. I love film. Film helps to take away the stress. Plays are kind of stressful. I love the live reactions, but I also love films. I love creating my own films and stories and really seeing actors come on set bringing it to life. It’s something that I can keep in my memories as well.
You also have a short film as well. Tell us about that.
The Skin I’m In, Volume 1: Melanin Melanie. We just had the premiere for that a couple of months. It’s been going to film festivals. It’s about this beautiful girl named Melanie, who is biracial. She struggled growing up being biracial. Now, she’s a mother, and she’s teaching her daughter how to be a colorist because of the abuse that she dealt with growing up. Now, her daughter is growing up, and she feels like she’s protecting her daughter by teaching her how to become a colorist, but her daughter ends up experiencing racism in a way that she didn’t imagine her to. It’s just a beautiful story of self-love and acceptance. I’m excited about it. We came a long way. We had a great film premiere. So, many were impacted by it.
So, you have begun your own awards show, The Bolden Awards. What inspired you to start it?
Just going to awards shows – you’re in the creative space as well – we go to a lot of them. Sometimes, for me, it’s the kind of… feedback that I got from it. A lot of awards shows are based off of nepotism and favoritism, and I’m just really not into that. I went from an award show more discouraged than when I came. I went home complaining about it saying, “I’m not going to go back to that anymore,” but I found that even in that night, inspiration came to me: The Bolden Awards. It came literally in my dream: Where Boldness Meets Greatness. I wanted to create an awards show that really brings people together and celebrates people who are in the creative field like I am, who don’t get the recognition that they deserve. I think it’s important because we’re always looking for “who’s up here” and “who can I reach out to,” but sometimes, it’s the people in our circle who should be recognized. It’s about where boldness meets greatness; we’re highlighting and honoring those who have overcome obstacles and adversities while achieving excellence. I think that it’s important to get back to the testimonies of what we’ve overcome to get to where we are and celebrate that. Many people are ashamed of their past, but we should be embracing that. It’s really just about celebrating those who are overlooked in the industry. We have so many amazing categories and some amazing individuals who really have stories from people who are up in age and are getting back into the creative field to people who have overcome cancer to people who are on their autism journey. It’s just really going to be really beautiful so I’m excited about this awards show.
When and where will The Bolden Awards take place?
It takes place Saturday, May 20th at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel by the Atlanta Airport. It’s going to be the GOLD CARPET – because we’re not doing traditional – at 6 P.M., the doors will open at 7:30 P.M., and the awards show will start promptly at 8 P.M.
If anyone wants to buy tickets, how can they do so?
You can go to www.theboldenawards.com. All the ticket information is there. Purchase a ticket. Come. Be one of my VIP guests. It’s going to be great. We have media coverage. It’s going to be amazing. I’m excited about it.
If people want to learn more about you and your creative space, how can they do so?
You can go to www.deonteboldenproductions.com; there are links to all of my social media where you can go on there and connect with me. I’m also about helping people to write and create their stories as well. So, you’ll find that on my website as well if you’re looking to write that script or amazing play that you’re looking to do. We do that as well through the Bolden Academy.