Independent Filmmaker, Gina Carey Makes Cinematic Black History in Palm Springs California

by:Veronica Ogunbolarin

All through the era and genre, history is made continuously in the American movie industry, Hollywood – The oldest film industry where several styles of movies and production companies emerged. Several prominent actors, directors, editors, and filmmakers have come up to hold the mandate and will to create the perfect atmosphere during the period of movie production.  Every one of these people has their roles to play for the successful completion of any movie from the Storywriter to the Director and then the Actors. Let’s not forget the Cameramen and Editors too; they are all essential parts of the process.
Despite each cast and crew have their specific roles to play during movie productions, some people have two or more job descriptions such as the filmmakers- In layman’s terms; anyone who can tell a story with a camera. However, don’t we all have a story to tell? It is how we show them that determine people’s reactions, whether good or bad. So, there is more to just saying a story. As a filmmaker, they are trying to say something that they would like to see hence create it into existence that is unique- the uniqueness which is often up for debate. They are one who can lead with a goal and vision to fulfill the collective purpose. They are involved in the scripting, budgeting, casting, hiring, pre-production, production, post-production, release processes, all the behind the scene works, but in some cases, some even appear on the scene.
The history of film making began with the Lumiere brothers in France; Auguste Lumiere and Louis Lumiere and Edison in the US. They are said to be the first filmmakers in history- from their innovations to their narrative film making and over time through civilization and technology, we have seen several records of success stories of different filmmakers among the different genres, race, gender, social and religious boundaries. We now have several movies and short plays that are ensured to keep the viewers glued with best casts, graphics, locations, and storylines - special thanks to the filmmakers who continually oversee the movie from the development stage to the finished product. The saying; ‘There is so much to do now, but only few time is left’ is correct when it comes to Hollywood and film making as different movies are released daily touching different story, group, beliefs, age, and fantasy, but we have only about 5 hours of free time per day. Not enough to watch all our favorite movies and it is even harder to select what to view from the hundreds available to us!
Gina Carey; Making history against all odd –
The film industry has been challenging for women, black women especially, to break into and according to Nsenga Burton ‘the film industry remains predominantly white and male.’ There is a substantial amount of work created by black women filmmakers extending back to the early part of this century. However, the actions are overlooked by the distributors as well as critical reviews analyses. This issue with women and black women filmmakers is not the lack of involvement but the degree of influence given to them which makes them go unnoticed despite their active contributions to the movie industry. Even till recent, statistics in Europe showed that only about sixteen percent of filmmakers are women while in America, female filmmakers make just about six percent. However, there is something more to what women are putting on film all over the world, and in Palm Springs, Coachella Valley, CA, Gina Carey is working to promote this fact.  Being a female filmmaker herself and understanding the challenges that come with it, she aims to push for the growth of female filmmakers and local acts in the US as well as promoting the black history all around her city, and in California as a whole- a purpose that is quite hard to achieve but promising nonetheless. Being the first female African American filmmaker in Palm Spring CA, she has witnessed first-hand the struggles and challenges involved, but with determination, success is certain. Her favorite quote- weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning’ gives her constant hope to push onward.
Ranked by her prestigious community, Gina Carey is positioned as the first African American female filmmaker in Palm Spring, CA. Her style of film that ranges from poetic to religious to daring and romantic has earned her the position- with excellent works, performances, and inspiration in any genre of film that sits in your hearts and won’t let go. She is determined to make films out of the ordinary that ensures to connect people, their family, faith, and struggles. Born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, Gina Carey is a black woman who has been entertaining people with songs her whole life from her church to her neighborhood. She has found success in music as a songwriter and has recorded different songs with prominent producers and artists and even made number 1 spot on UK gospel charts.
However, maybe like any other person, she didn’t always know that her creative thinking and leadership skill, as well as her patience, will be a stepping stone to producing her material in the entertainment industry, particularly in filmmaking. With the many challenges involved in film making, you need a lot of patience and creativity to work with the several casts- attributes she embedded on herself right from time. Which probably has contributed to her success story so far, as they say- Teamwork is a goal.
Gina Carey believes that ‘While creating a movie, you want to have your voice and express it in your way, but the only way to that is if you are in control of the whole work’- that is how it works being a filmmaker. And so far so good, her first feature film captured a wide range of audience and has earned her a recognition in her community- even though it started as some first time amateur work when her stage play turned to a film she had to capture herself because her lead role couldn’t make it to the scene.
Starting as a self-taught filmmaker with no desire for fame, Gina developed a love for movie production in 2016 when she ended up filming her movie ‘The Unexpected’- a faith-inspired drama because one of her acts couldn’t make it. Although, ‘it came out horrible, blurry and was quite embarrassing but isn’t that the usual with first timers?’ She says.
My first movie was horrible, but I used it as a tutorial to learn my mistakes and get better’ she said.  Gina Carey was the director, editor, writer, producer, art director, make-up artist, supervisor and executive producer of her first film ‘The unexpected.’ It is a whole lot of work for one person but believing that teamwork creates perfection, she worked diligently with her local acts to create a full-length film that earned her the Nevada International Film Festival Award on November 15, 2016. Indeed, it was unexpected, and she believes that is more reason to aim for perfection.
Since then, she has taken the role to heart and has become a filmmaker and independent producer of six feature films.
Gina Carey is the first African American Female Feature Filmmaker in Palm Spring, Coachella Valley CA. She is a prominent producer of Family and Christian films and is described as ‘The Mother Theresa of the film industry.’ Being the help to inspiring acts and providing them with an opportunity to get their first experience in a film while pushing them to succeed in areas they thought they couldn’t. She is deemed the backbone of future acts as most of her casts got their hard authenticity and first film experience by being in her movies. ‘There is always such a beauty in a huge heart everybody experiences’ she says.
Like with many female independent filmmakers, starting was a struggle where one woman has to fill the role of producer, writer, editor, cinematographer, and director to create a unique movie while being self-sponsored. Being a filmmaker is much work but being a filmmaker with little to no sponsorship? That is a whole lot of challenge. Moreover, being the first African American Female Filmmaker in your community? That’s another level of hard work, and this is why Gina Carey believes it is more important to maintain consistency and improvement while holding the status quo.
‘Being self-sponsored remains the greatest challenge in film making because in this business to move to the next stage, it is imperative that you make yourself more visible in the competitive world of arts and social media and you need money to do this.’
‘Without the proper amount of funding, it is challenging although not impossible to succeed as a filmmaker, and this might slow down the process of possible advancement in the entertainment industry’ said Carey.
However, we got to try, don’t we?. Her persistence to be a successful filmmaker despite being self-sponsored spurred her to establish her own independent film company ‘Gina Carey films’ in Palm Spring Coachella Valley, CA. Which so far so good has successfully released six feature films within three years where she was the writer, producer, director, editor of her feature films while making use of local talents and materials;
Rose of England
Acts of Kindness
The One Year Pact 2018
The Assumptions 2017
Aspire to Inspire 2016
The Unexpected- 2016
She is currently working on her new film- ‘The star connection’ that is set to be released soon.
Her movies best known are; ‘Rose England’ and ‘Acts of Kindness,and many of her feature films have earned her some awards and nominations;
November 15, 2016; Nevada International Film Festival Award Winner- The Unexpected
November 24, 2016; IndustryBoost Competition Finalist- The Assumption
December 1, 2016; Hollywood Screenings Film Festival Semi-Finalist- The Assumption
April 21, 2017; The Miami Epic Trailer Festival Award Winner- The Assumption
September 7, 2017; Los Angeles Cinefest Finalist- The One Year Pact
October 2, 2017; The Cinemafest Award Winner- The One Year Pact.
Aside from benefitting from these awards, Gina Carey also launched the first annual Coachella Valley Indie Film Awards in 2017- an event to award and recognize independent filmmakers producing low budget films as well as give local actors a chance to be known for their talents.

You’d be forgiven to think that the best days of Gina is only as the first Female African American Filmmaker in Palm Spring CA.  Maybe her best movies are in the past because the big places where most of the movie productions happen have gotten too difficult to find cheap rents that a self-sponsor filmmaker like herself relies on profoundly. Gina Carey, however, promises constant improvements and growth while supporting her movie career as a vocalist and stylist.  So, maybe you think we can’t see another Ava Marie DuVernay anytime soon but, somehow the works of Gina Carey will continue, not just in Palm Springs CA and Coachella Valley but all over where she is fostering aggressive acts and directors who are interested in making different movies.
Despite the skyrocketing cost of living and hostility in the movie industry, Gina is staying put in Palm Spring CA, rather than moving to New York or L.A. She will be making California proud in few years to come, not only as the first female African American filmmaker in Palm Spring but as one of the most groundbreaking independent female filmmaker. She acknowledges being an amateur with room for growth so it is best to keep an eye on her because sooner or later, Gina Carey is going to be a big deal you might see soon on a list of Oscar-nominated films.

References: #indiefilmmaker #ginacareyfilms #ginacarey #blackfemalefilmmakers #blackhistory


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