MX Media Academy

Citizen Journalism Workshop: SUN 12th May (free)

Are you a good communicator?

Do you want to be a voice in your community?

Interested in developing your creative skills?

Then this is the workshop for you

** Learn to report a news story to camera  ** Learn how to interview people on camera  ** Present your work to the community  

Open to 14-22yr olds with an interest in media

 Workshops will take place in Harlem Saturday 12th May 11a-2pm  RAW SPACE,  2031 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (7th Ave. btw. 121st & 122nd)

Your  work will premiere before a Harlem audience as part of Malcolm’s Echo film series, in celebration of Malcolm X’s 88th birthday On Sun May 19th.   

At The Schomburg Center 3pm May 19th – Present your work at the historic Schomburg Center for the  the Malcolm X community.

At Raw Space, 7pm May 19th – Students work will open the screening of the award winning film Malcolm’s Echo: The legacy of Malcolm X

Malcolms echo

Your work will also air on TV Show ‘Ancestor House’ Sat 5.30-6.30p (MNN Ch34

To Join the workshop email: darklingproductions (@) gmail(dot)com Apply Now

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

The Malcolm X Media Academy

‘The Malcolm X Media Academy’ mentors young people through the process of media production, equipping them with the hands on experience and skills to navigate the media, becoming the industry leaders of the future.

By creating an experiential learning environment ‘The Malcolm X Media Academy’ aims to inspire  the next generation of media-makers to challenge stereotypes and take ownership of how they are represented in the media by telling their own stories from script to screen.

More about how to support The Malcolm X Media Academy here


ImageNation Logo (Verticale)   MX MUSEUM logo

I had the wonderful opportunity of sitting in for the distinguished Nana Camille Yarborough, as the host of Ancestor House Show, which aired on Manhattan TV. I put together a show called ‘They Too Have Names’ in recognition of Trayvon Martin and all other victims of gun violence who more than often become a statistics, nameless and faceless.

Dami at Ancestor House

Ancestor House show










Dami with Dr Anthony and Almitra

On the show I had two special guests: Almitra Gasper of Occupy The Hood and Dr Cheryl Anthony mental health therapist (WOFAC) who offer a different perspective on the national conversation around gun violence and who continue to be active in their contributions to this ‘American Story’. Their insights and wisdoms made the show a joy to host; and also it being International Women’s Month their presence was perfect as I wanted to honor the mothers out there, bringing our sons and daughters into this tumultuous world, paying particular attention to the struggle of Sabrina Fulton acknowledging her strength in a Trayvon tribute video I shot in NYC Union Square,  during the one year anniversary of Trayvon’s untimely death.

 As a Brit I do feel the issues we discussed in the show resonate globally and that we can create our own media to tell these stories, finding solutions that unify us, whilst giving a voice to those unheard in the mainstream. It was wonderful to speak to this point by also airing a piece Darkling Productions (my film company) produced in the UK a while back called “Silent Bullet” featuring Clifford Denty, paralysed from the neck down as a result of being shot as a teenager in London. I mentored a group of young film graduates of colour on that project who had difficulty despite their skillset getting work in mainstream media; they still inspire me to this day to ‘do for self’, motivate others despite the feeling that hard work only pays for some. Our time will come.

Trayvons family

We closed Ancestor House Show with a music video called “Trayvon” by Jasiri X an artist, activist and educator doing great works, I really check for, and have had the pleasure of meeting and filming with, in the process of making 99% Occupied – Darkling’s next production.

Enjoy the show and thanks for watching. Nana Camille Yarborough’s Ancestor House Show airs on Manhattan TV on Channel 1 on Saturdays 5.30-6.30p

Streamed live on the internet also.





Malcolm X Media Academy

MX pic


The first feature film Darkling Productions created was Malcolm’s Echo: The Legacy of Malcolm X honored with the African Academy award for best documentary which premiered at The Audubon Ballroom with his friends and family there.
Now Malcolm’s echo resonates into the 21st century providing a blueprint for us to create our own media and to interpret the world in the way we want to depict it.  The Malcolm X Media Academy will provide opportunities for students to tell their own stories from script to screen. Be part of Malcolm’s echo the legacy of Malcolm X

To show your support as we build to make the Malcolm X Media Academy a reality, please purchase your Malcolm’s Echo T-Shirts; click below.

Malcolms Echo Tees


Thank you



‘The Malcolm X Media Academy’ helps young people navigate the media and nurtures them throughout the process of media production, equipping them with the skills to be the Media-Makers of the future.  The academy will deliver workshops strategically designed to serve all forms of media, offering practical hands on experience using digital technologies and the tools to critically analyze and ‘read’ the media.



On the 1st anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death I filmed with Trayvons parents in Union Sq with #hoodiesup in remembrance of their son shot and killed by George Zimmeman ‘a victim of stereotype’. Despite a national conversation on gun violence Trayvons parents still seek justice for their son, so this is my contribution to this ‘American Story’.


Trayvons familyI usually enjoy the editing process but this was heart wrenching to sit at and work on, please take the time to watch it.


Who am I? I’m just an indie filmmaker flowing outside of the mainstream with lots of peoples stories to tell, so you can help by sharing this and supporting my work if you like it.




Trayvon vigil


We are Trayvon



The Last Poets with Lemn Sissay

Tonight The Last Poets and British poet Lemn Sissay will be performing at The Shrine in Harlem, New York.  This exclusive performance is being filmed as part of a UK documentary series for Channel 4 airing later this year and is produced by Tigerlily films the company behind ‘Black Power Salute’. Tonight’s one off event brings Lemn Sissay to New York for the first time performing in collaboration with The Last Poets.

Join them from 9-10pm at The Shrine, 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY 10030 (free)

•’With their politically charged raps, taut rhythms, and dedication to raising African-American consciousness, the Last Poets almost single-handedly laid the groundwork for the emergence of hip-hop.’

•’Lemn Sissay is a poet and playwright. He’s associate artist at at Europe’s largest arts complex, Southbank Centre. He’s the first poet commissioned to write for the 2012 Olympics. Lemn is also an author of five books of poetry spanning twenty five years He reads on stages throughout the world’
For press and media requests please contact me (Dami) by shooting me a line at: or tweet @darklingdami

See you there x

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Producing great video content in the area of social justice im finding is a great way to be part of a social-media flow that positively impacts on others. Filming the Betty Shabazz Memorial Lecture and Award Ceremony is a great example of this as it shines light on women who are an active force like Betty was. In the video highlight I edited below, Ilyassa Shabazz pays tribute to her mother, wife of Malcolm X and celebrates the awardees: Ameena Matthews, Potri Ranka Manis and Rinku Sen. Watch the video and view the reference recommending my services.

Watch: The 11th annual Dr Betty Shabazz Awards highlights

 Darkling Productions logo

 Women in Islam  recommend Dami Akinnusi -filmmaker

I met Dami Akinnusi several years ago in Harlem when she was working on her award-winning documentary Malcolm’s Echo: The Legacy of Malcolm X. I knew then that this was no ordinary documentarian!

More recently, Dami worked with us to document our 11th Annual Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial Lecture and Award Ceremony held at the renowned Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In addition to videotaping the event, she conducted sensitive interviews of the awardees – Dami has a gift for making people feel at ease in front of the camera!

I am particularly impressed with her professionalism and passion to share her knowledge and expertise at the grassroots level and thus provide an invaluable contribution toward community empowerment.

I enthusiastically recommend Dami Akinnusi.

 Aisha H.L. al-Adawiya/ Founder and Chair Emerita/ Women In Islam Inc

Let Darkling Productions make your video

Clients come for one-stop production expertise, from concept consultancy and filming to editing to meet your goals.

Connect: darklingproductions[at]




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In the next chapter making 99% Occupied filmmaker Dami Akinnusi follows Occupy The Hood to Atlanta for Hood Week where Jamaine is discovered as a young voice of the future.

I arrived in New York a couple of weeks ago filled with anticipation, excitement and nerves as I was unsure of what the next three months would bring. I had come to the city to undertake an internship with Darkling Productions and also research for my dissertation (I am currently doing a Masters in Media, Communications and Critical Practice at London College of Communications).

My first assignment was a road trip to Atlanta for Hood Week hosted by Occupy the Hood, in which Darkling Productions would shoot the next chapter of 99% Occupied. The film has been following Malik Rhasaan and other community activists exploring the notion of leadership and black revolutionaries in current times.



Upon arrival I got straight to work helping out with the preparations for the three day event, a highlight for me was learning how to make Arroz con Gandules (a Puerto Rican rice dish) by a member of Occupy el Barrio. To me this highlighted what Occupy the Hood is all about; sharing, teaching and enriching each other to ensure that communities can prosper and be self-sufficient.



Hood Week commenced with a Meet & Greet evening filled with poetry, music and delicious food! This gave everyone the opportunity to put names to faces and also raise funds for the cause.



On day two of Hood Week we met Jamaine Stanley, an inspirational young man who had heard about the event and wanted to attend as he felt passionate about how, as a young black boy, he could be involved in making improvements to his ‘hood’. One of the main ideas 99% Occupied the film explores is identifying ‘where are the Black Panthers of the 21st Century?’ and Jamaine certainly made an impression on the audience as you can see in the video above.




Day three was the Hood Week Cookout; Darkling set up a temporary office on site and continued to interview members for 99% Occupied Film. Ben & Jerry’s had donated ice cream to the event and we all enjoyed the treats which gave some respite to the scorching hot day!



99% Occupied is supported by Women Make Movies. You can support the film on Facebook by liking the page and posting your thoughts.

Join us and tweet-99%OccupiedFilm

Words by Nyomi Cleghorn-Ball




Hip Hop on Trial

I was invited to shoot a short video with Jonzi D up in the Bronx as he argued against the motion “Hip-Hop Doesn’t Enhance Society, It Degrades It”, a debate putting Hip Hop On Trial at The Barbican, LDN and via google+, organized by Intelligence Squared . The debate asked whether Hip Hop gives voice to the street or just about Bling, Benjamins and B*tches? “Is it art or just noise”, says the chair of the event, BBC’s Emily Maitlis



Jonzi D in the Bronx: “Hip-hop isn’t a problem”

For Jonzi his answer was clear and we traveled up to Bronx River Projects and he delivered what he had to say from the foundations of Hip Hop’s roots. Surrounded by luscious green trees and a community vibe, I filmed Jonzi as he dropped his argument in rhyme; presenting it in the form that the debate would be dissecting, I thought was genius! In this one minute video Jonzi lets us know “Hip-hop isn’t a problem, It’s the solution,” convincing us why.



Meeting of  minds and target audience

As Hip Hop went on trial, the Hip Hop jurers including KRS-One, ?uestlove, Michael Eric Dyson, Prof Tricia Rose, Benjamin Zephaniah, Dream Hampton, Q-Tip and Estelle expressed their views on the live panel or via google+ hangout. It was great to be tuned into London live and participate in my first google+ debate, its very cool that we can come together via the virtual world and all ponder, what’s next for the powerful, global Hip Hop and the debate that surrounds it! What I do know is the google+ debate platform will be a great platform for filmmakers like myself to utilize, when looking for ways to reach our films target audience


Find me here and make contact



 Watch the full debate: Intelligence Squared Vs  Hip Hop.






99% Occupied in search of the black panthers of the 21st century

I am loving the process of making 99% Occupied film (mostly) and the journey has me exploring deeper around the issues and themes tapping into historical and current American activism, through the arts and organizations, framing the current convo around ‘race equity’ and posing the question: Where are the black panthers of the 21st century?

Outside of my brain suffering from repetitive strain injury with the continuous proposal writing, my journey so far has unearthed a pool of thinkers, doers and givers and  if you’ve just joined my journey with this film, so far its put me in the path of the OGs of activism, from Sam Anderson (Black Panther and Malcolm X Museum) to Chuck D (Public Enemy).  Heavy!


As I work with different ways of exploring around the story of 99% Occupied, I thought it’d be nice to share some of my juicy journey, so here are some video highlights I cut together from a 99% Occupied Film shoot at Hunter College NYC, where a  special benefit for the Brecht Forum, hosted an evening with Michael Moore & Cornel West.

In the videos I edited (below) they wrestle with white supremacy, white privilege and the challenge of race in America. Enjoy!

Watch Brecht Forum Highlights: Michael Moore & Cornel West


With almost four decades of experience to draw on, the Brecht Forum is entering 2012 with high hopes and a renewed spirit. As one prescient sign at Occupied Wall Street read, “The Beginning is Near.” Following years of capitalist triumphalism and imperial overreach, cynical horizons were challenged by 2011′s popular uprisings. Brecht Forum



99% Occupied is supported by Women Make Movies. You can support the film on facebook by liking the page and posting your thoughts.

Join us and tweet- 99%Occupied Film




Celebrating the legacy of Dr. Betty Shabazz

The Dr Betty Shabazz Memorial Lecture & Award Ceremony taking place at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, honors: Ameena Matthews – violence interrupter, community activist, peace builder and behavioral practitioner.


Hosted by Women In Islam, Darkling Productions (yours truly) will be filming the awards ceremony  which “celebrates the example and legacy of Dr. Betty Shabazz annually” recognizing women “who demonstrate their unwavering and courageous dedication to helping others.”


Social Change through Documentary

Malcolms echo

The Dr Betty Shabazz Memorial Lecture & Award Ceremony is a must attend and Im glad I’ll to be there, having made my first feature documentary Malcolm’s Echo: The legacy of Malcolm X, about her husband Malcolm X. It’s an honor to be filming such an awards ceremony given in the name of his wife Dr Betty Shabazz and I’m looking forward to meeting Ameena Matthews a really deserving 2012 recipient.

She first came to my attention in the documentary The Interrupters, where we follow her street outreach as a violence interrupter in Chicago. I remember seeing her in it on PBS and thinking this chick takes no nonsense and rocks! Come to find out the film was produced by the makers of one of my favourite documentaries Hoop Dreams. Dope film by Kartemquin Films.


So it was a real pleasure editing the video clip (above) where Ameena invites us to celebrate The Dr Betty Shabazz Award with her this sunday Join Her! I also cut in clips from the film The Interrupters where we see Ameena in the mix helping to resolve Chicago’s escalating problem of gang violence. The video shows you why she is an inspiration to many, but come and meet her for yourself; a great example of women in leadership, changing the social landscape.

The award will be presented by Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Dr Betty Shabazz. See you there!


June 24th 3-6pm
Shcomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,

Langston Hughes Auditorium.
515 Malcolm X Boulevard @ 135th Street
New York, NY

Buy Tickets: 




The simple phrase, “Find the good and praise it,” handed down to Dr. Betty Shabazz from her mother, became the cornerstone of a life lived powerfully, honorably, sincerely, and provided a winning formula that move her through all of life’s challenges. (Women in Islam)