When Chris Stokes launched his independent film company in 2015, the veteran writer, producer, director and multi-media entrepreneur came up with the ideal name and branding concept, Footage Films, to capture the essence of his expansive, innovative, creative vision.
It’s the perfect double entendre to express the creative culture that he and his team set out to accomplish with their fresh, young quality content driven company. Footage Films is quickly developing a powerful niche via the creation of digital TV and film “footage” driven by previously untapped urban narratives, while at the same time discovering new up and coming talent and cultivating the careers of incredible young performers – putting them on the pathway towards greater future success.
Footage Films is passionately founded on the principle that life is a length of a plethora of scenes. The company’s content creation takes many forms, from motion pictures to broadcast entertainment, producing content to creative programming, scoring to emerging platforms – the common thread in our work is a firm commitment to the choreography of emotions and ideas on film. Footage Films is life documented.
Footage Films was founded in 2015 with the intention to pursue stories objectively, executing the highest possible standards artistically, creatively and technically; to entertain viewers; and tell diverse stories. Its mission is to deliver high quality, multi-cultural, fiction/non-fiction programming and production for digital audio/visual media, theatrical and broadcast television through all platforms.
Netflix is currently streaming three new 2016 films released by Footage Films and directed by Stokes, the romantic comedy “Boy Bye,” the dramatic thriller “Only for One Night” and the romantic comedy “A Weekend with The Family.” “Only for One Night’ and ‘A Weekend With the Family” star Karreueche Tran, once known primarily as a personal shopper and singer Chris Brown’s girlfriend but who has blossomed into a major acting talent thanks to Stokes’ support and career guidance. “A Weekend with the Family” also features Marques Houston in the lead role. Houston, also currently the CEO of Footage Films, has worked with Stokes for over 25 years. Stokes discovered Houston and managed his mega-successful R&B singing group Immature/IMx throughout the 90s and into the 2000s. In addition, Stokes’ film “Will To Love,” originally aired on TVOne, will be available for streaming on Netflix May 1, 2017.
Other projects currently in the Footage Film pipeline are new dance driven film “Namuh” (Human spelled backwards), featuring members of the casts of “You Got Served” and “Stomp the Yard”; “Till Death Do Us Part,” a thriller set for theatrical release starring Taye Diggs; and, scheduled for release in 2018, the films “Wake Up William” and “”Dance With You.” Stokes is also helming a musical called “Howard High,” which he calls “a special project with music built into it, a cross between ‘Lean on Me,’ ‘Sister Act’ and ‘Fame.’” While “Howard High” was originally slated to be a feature film, Footage Films is currently in negotiation with Netflix to turn the concept into a series.
Stokes has been a powerhouse force as a writer, director, and producer since his directorial breakthrough with “You Got Served,” a dance drama film that grossed over $150 million worldwide. Nicknamed “The Hundred Million Dollar Man,” he began his career in the music industry with the discovery of such stars as Houston and Immature/IMx, Brandy, B2K, and Omarian. He is also credited with discovering, developing or contributing to the early careers of future stars Jamie Foxx, the late Brittany Murphy, Beyonce and Destiny’s Child and Demi Lovato. He has applied his Midas touch and instinct for discovering exciting new talent to his launch and development of the careers of young actors Ross Fleming, Draya Michelle, and Veronika Bozeman, who has been a semi-regular on the hit show “Empire.”
Shondrella Avery, VP, and Producer for Footage Films, says, “That’s Chris’ m.o. on both the music and film/TV side of the industry. He taps previously unknown talent and creates a bootcamp atmosphere for them, teaching them the business and directing them to greatness. As a filmmaker, the space that he specializes in is niche stories with themes others have covered, but never with these kinds of fresh narratives featuring young urban performers. We’ve been successful taking films and series featuring our unique point of view and creating a powerful market space for them.”
Growing Footage Films into a high impact independent film, TV, and digital content company provides Stokes with ongoing opportunities to engage in his passion for filmmaking. While he continues to helm his longtime music production firm Silent Partner Music, sharing his love for storytelling as a screenwriter, director and producer is his current focus.
“I am driven by my desire to share meaningful stories and discover new talent through the movies I make,” he says. “The common denominator for me as a songwriter/producer and director is my drive to tell those stories. The most gratifying aspect of developing the creative and business culture at Footage Films is the fact that we’re succeeding as a minority driven company that has given me the opportunity to employ over 200 people over the past few years, in front of and behind the camera. We’re all very excited to see what the future holds.”
Chris Stokes serves as Chairman of Footage Films. His partners in the company are CEO Marques Houston and President Jerome Jones. The company’s officers include VP and Producer Shondrella Avery and Senior VP Jerell Houston.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD