In this episode of Directing Magic; Tamika Guishard, writer & director of RHYTHM IN BLUES (formerly D-Days / currently in development) joins Marquette. They discuss her filmmaking journey of getting her first feature completed, how to build your creative team and working with actors.
Tamika R. Guishard is a first-generation American born of Kittitian heritage in East New York, Brooklyn. With the mind of a storyteller, heart of a teacher, and soul of a dancer, Tamika taught middle school Social Studies in her native East New York before matriculating into NYU Graduate Film program to resurrect and update the afterschool special. Believing in the powerful fusion of education and cinema, she has since then elevated edutainment by producing for public school districts, National Park Service, Tribeca Film Institute, Great minds, and on Leech Lake Reservation in her quest to make “films that help”.
Having been recognized by Oscar-qualifying festivals and Hollywood Foreign Press for her narrative shorts, along with being published by the Gates Foundation, featured at Harvard University and SXSWedu, respectively, for her pedagogical video expertise, Tamika’s cultivated a unique skillset for telling powerful, purposeful stories. Since completing undergrad at University of Pennsylvania, she’s steadily garnered distinctive opportunities to teach through cinema, even serving as a Park Ranger at Manhattan’s African Burial Ground producing webisodes to help launch Ken Burns’ “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”, with youth from Harlem Children’s Zone.
After receiving the inaugural Women Cinematographers Grant from Digital Bolex and being named one of the top production-ready screenplays on Tisch’s annual Purple List, her passion project, Rhythm in Blues (formerly “D-Days”), was awarded by New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Tamika’s filmmaking acumen recently landed her at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) – as one of only two non-Canadians selected for Black Women Film! Canada – and IFP Project Forum, with “D-Days” being one of twenty U.S.-based narrative projects at IFP Week, and later selected for a Made In NY/IFP Fellowship.
In February 2018, Tamika began her fellowship as one of only four U.S. based artists with Residency Unlimited in Brooklyn. She is also one of two winners of the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development’s “Celebrate Equality NY” Film Challenge, with her short screenplay “Pride” being produced this year. Based in NYC, Tamika sees filmmaking as her civic duty and has made it her life’s work. From her middle school motto of “to whom much is given, much is required” to the “nonsibi” fundamentals imbued in her while boarding at Phillips Andover, education has always gone hand in hand with service for Tamika. Her affinity for collaboration and devotion to story makes film a natural fit: it’s the medium through which she can most greatly serve her community and impact the world.