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Topic presents: ONE STORY UP Filmmaker Fireside Chat with SCA Alumni Sanford Jenkins Jr. and Callie Mae Nichole Lyons

May 7, 2021, 2:00 P.M. PDT

Live Online Webinar

Friday, May 7th @ 5:00pm ET / 2:00pm PT

In the Topic Original series, One Story Up, Roger Ross Williams showcases short films by talented emerging filmmakers and voices from underrepresented communities each month.

This event series brings together filmmakers featured in One Story Up for a virtual fireside chat where they share their experiences, insights on the craft, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. You won’t want to miss what is sure to be an engaging conversation with some of the industry’s most gifted rising stars, featuring an introduction by Roger Ross Williams.

Join us for the second Filmmaker Fireside Chat event in the four-part series featuring:

USC School of Cinematic Arts graduate Sanford Jenkins Jr. and his film, A CRAFTSMAN. In this tender film about grief, Herman decides to join his wife after losing her. Through the act of crafting his own coffin, he ends up building a stronger connection to life.

Intertwining traditional Black folk songs and modern dance, Callie Mae Nichole Lyons's EDGE OF RED is a nonlinear film about growing up in the South and reconnecting with its land and the first in a trilogy of shorts Lyons has planned.

About the Speakers


Roger Ross Williams is an award-winning director, producer, writer and the first African-American director to win an Academy Award ® with his short film Music By Prudence. His documentaries include Academy Award ® nominated and Emmy Award winning Life, Animated, as well as God Loves Uganda, Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning VR experience Traveling While Black, and Emmy Award winning The Apollo. Williams is currently working on his first narrative feature, Cassandro, produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna’s production company La Corriente Del Golfo. Since 2016, Williams has been on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences representing the Documentary Branch and is also Chair of the Documentary Diversity Committee. Williams serves on the advisory board of the Full Frame Film Festival, and the boards of Docubox Kenya, None On Record, and the Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa. He resides in NY and Amsterdam.

Instagram: @rogerrosswilliams
Twitter: @RogerRossWill


Sanford Jenkins is an Oakland-based artist and filmmaker. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he earned a BA at Morehouse College and an MFA in Film and Television Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. His award-winning short films have played at international film festivals including BlackStar, Camerimage, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Filmfest Dresden and Palm Springs, and have been supported by BAMPFA, Topic Studios and Vimeo. Sanford is a recipient of a 2017 DGA Student Film Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in A Craftsman, a 2018 Small But Mighty Arts micro-grant, and a 2019 mentorship through the Half Television Directing Program. He is currently developing the narrative feature Joy and Pain, supported by Film Independent, IFP, and SFFILM.

Instagram: @s.jenksii


Callie Mae Nichole Lyons is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, California with upbringings in Augusta, Georgia. Trained extensively in modern, ballet, tap and jazz, she experiments with compositional dance tools as a means to heighten the kinesthetic experience in film praxis. Callie’s most recent short film, Edge of Red (2019), has screened at BAMCinemaFEST, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Indie Memphis Film Festival and Tacoma Film Festival and is currently streaming on Topic. She also served as the Assistant Director on the feature film Residue (2020) written and directed by Merawi Gerima. Callie received her B.A. in Dance and Business Marketing from Loyola Marymount University, her M.F.A. in Dance and New Media from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and studied for 3 semesters towards her M.F.A. in Film Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts before departing to create on her own terms.

Instagram: @calsyo
Twitter: @callyons

About Topic

Topic ( is a new streaming service curated for a curious and engaged audience seeking indie and international gems, critically acclaimed series, award-winning documentaries, and exclusive originals.

Each event features two of the up-and-coming directors showcased in One Story Up ( as they discuss their filmmaking journey and answer your questions in an audience Q&A session immediately following the conversation.

Contact Information

Name: Gina Imperato