In this episode of Directing Magic; Tomeka Winborne, writer & director of the foster care awareness short film AGED OUT, joins Marquette. They discuss Tomeka’s networking strategies and the importance of being willing to volunteer when starting out in the entertainment industry, what to negotiate in advance when working for clients, and her upcoming move to Los Angeles.
Author and filmmaker Tomeka M. Winborne doesn’t wait for opportunities to come her way, she creates them. She wanted to author a coming of age story, that would eventually help thousands of men and women overcome complete dysfunction and rock-bottom circumstances. She discovered not long after publishing her highly sought-after debut novel, “Where My Strength Comes From” in 2005, that the desire to tell stories through filmmaking would become her purpose and passion.
“My mission as an African American female filmmaker is to bring stories to the screen that embody the experiences and voices of people of color that are devoid in television and film,” says Tomeka. Throughout the past eight years Tomeka studied various aspects of filmmaking. She took in everything she could about writing, directing and producing movies, and even had the opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge from a host of A-list writers, producers and directors.
To date she has written and produced five and directed four short films. She would later serve on the board of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Virginia Production Alliance in 2015.
Tomeka recalls the days of working as a production assistant on a feature film, Atlantis Down, as a blessing as she was able to learn from that experience. She also gained knowledge from the Writers Workshop at the Attucks Theater, led by Clyde Santana, where she learned how to craft a screenplay. The first short film that Tomeka directed and produced entitled, “PASS ME BY,” released in 2011, aired on Cox Channel11. Later, Tomeka was hired to write, produce and direct a short film entitled, WHAT COULD HAPPEN: ROMNEY, RYAN in 2014. She quickly followed that project with, “TOO LATE,” a short film centered around HIV.
In 2014, Winborne developed LAVENDER REEL MEDIA GROUP, LLC / LAVENDER REEL PUBLISHING, a production and media services company, producing commercials, documentaries and other film projects of commercial clients as well as her own. That same year, Tomeka was commissioned to co-produce a documentary entitled, “IN PLAIN SIGHT: HUMAN TRAFFICKING” for Cox Creative which aired on Cox 11 and its affiliate stations in 2016. She also se//rved as a field reporter for Cox Communications.
In 2016 Tomeka received the African American Cinematic Series Norfolk Public Library Award.
Tomeka is thankful for the ability to combine her creative passion with her entrepreneurial spirit and believes wholeheartedly that her gifts make room for her.
Tomeka enjoys advocating within the community for causes that benefit women, children, homelessness, politics, and injustices.
She is also in the research and development phase of a new feature documentary entitled, LAUGHING IN THE DARK. Additionally, she is writing a feature drama, FOREVER FRIENDS.