LETS EAT Filmmaker Mentorship Program

CNM Films has partnered with The Classic Man Brand to mentor emerging filmmakers from diverse, underrepresented, Richmond, Virginia communities. Producer and Playwright Kevo Kodesh and K-12 School Administrator Dr. Darrin Branch will serve as Lead Program Mentors identifying and advising during film production.

Launching Summer 2021, the program seeks to focus on the fight for racial equality in film and tv, while also highlighting the need for strengthening the quality of life in underserved communities. This program encourages our community partners to play an active role in generating joy and positivity for young adults during these challenging times.

A major part of the program’s effort is to educate and inspire tomorrow’s filmmakers. This summer, students in underrepresented communities will have access to producers, studio and production executives, directors and playwrights, casting directors, and advisors in media and public relations. Students in the program will receive extra levels of support and personalized counsel on pitching their individualized and team film projects, managing production company budgets, marketing and social media best practices, business advice and mentorship, and everything in between.

An added layer of the program includes support for after school programs. These are community events and campaigns that focus on student achievement and development, as well as gender and ethnic diversity. This year’s program is fully financed and produced by CNM Films and community partners in Richmond. Kodesh and Dr. Branch will handpick young people with incredible stories and ideas that will drive positive, long-term change in communities across our great state.

Kevo Kodesh uses film to explain the subject matters of urban violence and second-class civil subordination, using his production company to invoke positive mindsets. His upcoming film, LETS EAT, offers a unique glimpse of how cultural nuances perpetuate the daily struggle for people of color. Dissected in on-screen drama, the film highlights an array of psychological ramifications associated with people of color who reside in low socioeconomic areas, and how certain social relationships can further hinder or improve the conditions required to succeed.

Dr. Darrin Branch use his educator platform to ensure access to clothing and school supplies are not barriers to a student’s education. Due to COVID-19, many schools exclusively operate online. During summers, his black-led nonprofit The Classic Man Brand sponsor various technology drives so students have iPads, stylus, headsets, and necessary accessories. The initiative has succeeded in reducing challenges for teachers and school administrators. In the wintertime the nonprofit hosts clothing drives for students lacking proper cold weather protection.

For more information about the CNM Films’ Future Filmmaker Mentorship Program and to check out this year’s full list of mentees, visit or visit the official LETS EAT Instagram page for event images and b-roll video @letseat.themovie. For more information about The Classic Man Brand Non-profit Program and to check out this year’s list of community outreach opportunities, visit the official Facebook page: @theclassicmanbrand.

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