About this project
Huffington Post Black Voices: "As the young Harlemnite, played by Milan Williams, becomes increasingly cognizant of race, gender and class-based hierarchies in society, she develops a resistance to the systems which perpetuate inequality.
But in order for the show to go on, Wilson and the show’s crew are in need of a little financial aid. According to the series’ Kickstarter page, if the team doesn’t meet their goal of raising $15,000 for the show’s production by June 24, we won’t get to witness Little Apple come into her wokeness."
AFROPUNK: "What would you do about oppressive systems if you knew everything about them? "Little Apple", a new series by Riley Wilson asks just that, delving into the mind of an omniscient 9-year-old Harlemnite named Apple. Blending sci-fi, drama, and comedy, the series follows Apple as she develops "claircognizance," similar to clairvoyance, and must decide whether or not to take a stance as she becomes increasingly aware of racism, sexism, and gentrification."
With Harlem in flux, so is Little Apple as she and her family grapples with her new intellect, new confidence and sheer impatience for a new school year.
As if her know-it-all sass wasn’t enough, Apple now has the ability to know things beyond her means and age. Her father MATTHEW, a mid 30s university professor, is obsessed with her rapidly growing intellect and confidence, eager to engage her intellectually. Her mother CHARLENE, an early 30’s registered nurse and the backbone of the house, is more concerned about Apple’s equally growing impudence towards authority.
Apple is developing claircognizance (all-knowing) abilities very quickly. With her newfound consciousness and knowledge comes a decision: assimilate and accept the world as is or use her abilities to speak up.
As America transitions from an Obama/Hope purview to a Trump/Fear alternative, more and more people are becoming conscious of the role systemic racism and microaggressions play in their every day lives. Part of this is thanks to social media and short form content. Social media has grown to be more than just a means to connect people digitally. From a racial justice standpoint, it has transformed the digital space into a real-time archival, documentary, and galvanizing resource.
Out of it, we’ve seen movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #OscarsSoWhite, and #SayHerName emerge. These hashtags include #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackBoyJoy, echoing a growing sentiment of not only Black pride but also the desire for content that speaks to these themes.
Although people of color in America are living in very uncertain times, they’re also living in a special time. Imagine a time when Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Beyoncé’s Lemonade are the soundtracks, Ta Nehisi-Coates’ Between The World and Me and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow are the literature, and Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, and Barry Jenkins are producing the content—we’re entering a golden age for content from a POC lens and perspective. That is now.
Little Apple will tell the dramatically witty story of a young magical Black girl’s transcendence into consciousness—in a society that, for all intents and purposes, is anti-Black and anti-female.
Themes explored in the series and supporting platforms include:
- Black Girl Magic
- Gentrification vs. Displacement
- Black Feminism
- Racial Microaggressions
- The Limitations of Liberal Allies
- Parenting While Black
- Native American Erasure
- The unspoken connection many people of color share.
We plan to shoot 5 5-8 minute episodes over two days on July 29th & 30th! The entire project has been in the works for 2 years!! Last year, Little Apple made the finals for Sundance Institute's 2016 YouTube New Voices Lab. Unfortunately, we didn't make it but we kept pushing! And now we're ready to make it with your help!
Making Apple is a weekly podcast specifically documenting and discussing the content, production and ideas of the series and comic. It is hosted by Executive Producer, Writer and Director, Riley S. Wilson and the lead actress of the series, Milan Williams (Apple). Not only is it a great way to find out more about the show and the crew, but it also presents an interesting opportunity to discuss various topics racial and social justice topics with a kid--Milan!
Check out the full first episode here!
Ultimately we hope to tell the story of these important themes while raising larger questions about our commitment to cultivating younger people—many of whom have remained indirectly participatory. What is possible if large swaths of our young people are engaged?
The Little Apple book is a limited edition collectors item, loosely following the first three episodes of the narrative series. We've worked really hard to not only remain authentic to Harlem but create a story that people from all ages and backgrounds can appreciate.
Thanks to our exceptionally talented Art Director, Steven Lowe, we were able to take Harlem landmarks and effectively convey the energy of Little Apple's world.
We have THE best team ever producing this project! With executive producers Riley S. Wilson ("Orange Bright") and Lisa Cortés ("Precious", "Imagine A Future") at the helm, we're pulling out all the stops to bring you the best quality short-form web series ever to hit the digital space!
Riley S. Wilson, Executive Producer, Writer, Director
Writer, Director and Executive Producer, Riley S. Wilson originally began official work on Little Apple in 2015. A year later, the project was in finals for a Sundance lab. After not receiving the appointment, he began work to self-produce the project.
A career content producer, Riley hails from Columbia, SC by way of Howard University in Washington, D.C. Originally studying business and advertising, Riley got his start reporting at Advertising Age and Creativity-Online before eventually reporting on racial justice at Ebony, Colorlines and others, He is the writer and director of Orange Bright, a short-film based on his 2011 novella "my ID."
Over time, he has found that creating stories is his true calling. Creating weird, interesting, kinda creepy but cool stories that are actually saying something and that for some odd reason people can relate to.
Lisa Cortés, Executive Producer
CEO of Cortés Films, is a producer and director. She was the Executive Producer of the Academy Award® and Sundance winning film, Precious. Her productions have received over 70 international awards and nominations. Recent productions include Double Play directed by Ernest Dickerson, which had its world premiere at the 2017 International Film Festival Rotterdam and The Tale Of Four directed by Gabourey Sidibe. Currently she is working with director, Roger Ross Williams on the Apollo Theater documentary. Prior to her film career, Cortés was one of the driving forces behind the launch of the seminal hip hop label, Def Jam Records, and founded the Loose Cannon label at Polygram Records.
Angel Denise, Assistant Director
A storyteller at heart, Angel's true passion lies at the intersection of hip-hop, pop culture, and high style. A former correspondent for BET’s 106 and Park, her current post is at Hearst Digital Media, where she directs and produces nearly 40 fashion, beauty, and entertainment videos per month for Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE magazines.
Backed with degrees from Clark Atlanta University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, the Texas native can write, edit, shoot, and do it for the 'gram; but she finds herself most at home in front of a camera—preferably HD.
Steven Lowe, Art Director
Steven was born in Brooklyn. The youngest of 5 kids he used to want to study the weather...until he started drawing. Now it seems to be all he wants to do. Having studied traditional animation at New York City's School of Visual Arts, Steven lends his skills to a variety of media platforms. From television animation to mobile games and even e-commerce, Steven always finds a way to put a little of his soul and voice into the work that is required of him. He is ecstatic to be working as Art Director on Little Apple and looks forward to bringing Apple and Harlem to life!
Milan WiIliams, Little Apple
Milan Williams has a strong passion for the arts. She has been acting professionally since the age of 6 and has starred in national commercials, off- Broadway performances, voiceovers, short films, live screen play readings and more. When Milan is not acting, she enjoys drawing and fashion designing. She recently had the opportunity of bringing one of her designs to life. Milan also enjoys play writing, science, and spending time with her family.
Your generous donation goes towards:
Distribution & Marketing
Risks and challenges
100% of the proceeds will go towards the production of this film.
The hardest work is still ahead of us and we anticipate obstacles as we enter the next and final stage of this long journey.
After we finish LITTLE APPLE, we will apply to festivals across the globe as well as a few other alleyways. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to check out our LITTLE APPLE Kickstarter Project! Have an awesome rest of your day and Happy 2017!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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