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Directed by WIF alumnus Romell Foster-Owens, prima ballerina Perris McCracken moves for the camera during the 2008 shoot for the City Ballet of Los Angeles PSA co-produced by Women in Film and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
"The void of women being afforded opportunities in mainstream Hollywood has made the Women in Film PSA Production Program an important vehicle for identifying talented female filmmakers and letting them shine. Case in point: Romell Foster-Owens, producer of this year's Gang Alternatives Program PSA, which has won numerous awards including the 2008 Platimum Aurora Award for Best in Show (an international award that's advertising equivalent of an Oscar). Starting with $7,500 in grant money, Foster-Owens spent the next six months soliciting in-kind donations from the Hollywood community. "Women in Film really opens doors. The support from the industry is mind boggling," says Foster-Owens, who cites Kodak, Panavision and Technicolor as regular contributors, as well as Encore Hollywood (online editing and Todd-AD (sound design). With a budget of $300,000, the PSA was shot during the weekend in just one day - and came in under budget. Foster-Owens followed up by directing a City Ballet of Los Angeles PSA (while simultaneously mentoring two newbies) that will be distributed this summer."
The gangfree.org Public Service Announcement was the first ever for the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP). Director Karen Lavender and Producer Romell Foster-Owens produced the PSA for GAP on behalf of Women In Film Los Angeles.
The PSA depicts a a teenage schoolgirl who is faced with the choice between individuality within a positive lifestyle as opposed to the pressure of being pulled into a gang lifestyle. The compelling PSA was produced to inform the public about the Gang Alternatives Programs and services by leading the audience to GAP's Web site.
Renowned music producer Terence Dudley (50 Cent, Mary J. Blige), musical legend AL B. Sure! and rap artist/actress Paige Hurd (Everybody Hates Chris), teamed up to to create a dynamic original soundtrack for the project.
Executive Producer – Varda Hardy
Producer – Romell Foster-Owens
Director – Karen Lavender
Associate Producer/ Writer - Sheila Hardy
Associate Producer – Patricia Johnson
Director Of Photography – Gary Ravenscroft
Starring - Elizabeth Blanco, Joey Gaytan and featuring Oscar Ramirez and Renee Madrid
Original Music - Terence Dudley, Al B. Sure! and Paige Hurd
Women In Film
- Platinum AURORA Award - Best In Show - Gang Alternatives Program PSA - 2008
- Bronze ADDY Award - Gang Alternatives Program PSA - 2008
- Women In Film - Spotlight Award - 2009 - Red Carpet Photo | Acceptance Speech Photo
- Congressional Commendation - US Congress - Gang Alternatives Program PSA - 2009
- Commendation - City of Los Angeles - Producer - Gang Alternatives Program PSA - 2009
- Commendation - City of Los Angeles - Women In Film - Gang Alternatives Program PSA - 2008
Romell Foster-Owens, Recipient of Mitch Maricich Award
Douglas L. Semark, Executive Director Gang Alternatives Program
Karen Lavender, Recipient of Mitch Maricich Award
Romell Foster-Owens, producer of the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP) PSA, and a member of the WIF PSA Committee, who introduced the 30 second piece and spoke about the long-running WIF program. Read More.
Romell Foster-Owens onstage and backstage at the Women In Film 2009 Crystal And Lucy Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on June 12, 2009 in Century City, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Romell Foster-Owens
(June 12, 2009 - Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America)
ALAKASIA's Official Website
, is the first reality show from the company formed in 2007 between Romell Foster-Owens of Jowharah Films and fashion icon ALAKASIA. The pilot is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2009.
Jowharah Films was founded in January 2003, by Romell Foster-Owens and Azhar Al-Uqdah. The company’s objective is to produce compelling original television and feature film projects, with a focus on projects written and directed by filmmakers of color and African American descent, and with stories written by and about women. In July 2006, Foster-Owens became the sole owner of the film and television production company, which became a subsidiary of Romell Foster-Owens Productions, Inc.
In 2007, Foster-Owens partnered with fashion icon ALAKASIA and established Seahorse Entertainment. Seahorse Entertainment’s aim is to produce entertaining and profitable television and feature film projects that tell the stories of ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. The company’s current project in collaboration with UK based Shed Media is ALAKASIA:: The Robin Hood of Fashion, a reality-TV show that centers on the fashion couture industry. As well as ALAKASIA: The Robin Hood of Fashion, other reality shows in development include Motorsports Mania and an untitled racecar show.
On the feature film side Jowhara Films’ objective is to produce three to five feature films a year. Projects currently in development include: The Colored Waiting Room, an action drama that Foster-Owens will produce and direct; Forever Yours, a romantic comedy; and Ave’ Blue, a thriller.
Foster-Owen’s screenplay adaptation of the novel, The Jungle Warriors, a Vietnam War drama written by Bobby Briscoe, U.S. Army (Retired), a recipient of the Purple Heart, Silver Star and Bronze Star, is currently in pre-production, which Owens also will produce and direct.
Foster-Owens graduated from the American Film Institute with a degree in Directing. Her awards include: an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series for the television series Teen Scene; an NAACP Image Award for the feature film, The Three Muscatels; the Black American Cinema Society Award for Outstanding Contributions to the film industry; and a Humanitarian Award from the National Council of Christians and Jews for the television special, Rites of Passage: An African American Female Experience. In addition, Foster-Owens has the distinction of twice winning the Black Filmmakers’ Hall Of Fame Award for Best Independent Film for Tendrils, on which she served as Executive Producer and also for More Than a Game, which Foster-Owens co-wrote, produced and directed.
Foster-Owens is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors, Women in Film, the Gangs Alternative Programs (GAP) Advisory Board, a Board Member of the Diamond in the Raw Foundation, and a former Board Member of the Center for Advanced Film Studies at The American Film Institute. In addition to her feature film and television projects Foster-Owens produces Awards shows for non-profit organizations.