Dennis Darrell lends big support to the big screen. You may have seen his name affiliated with projects like the film Traci Townsend and Shorts in the Spirit, his short-film festival in Spirit Square. But if you haven't heard of him, rest assured that his talent for promoting independent films makes him an asset to the community.
A man in Darrell's line of interest embodies versatility. "There are two distinctive sides to me," he says. "I am most known for my independent films, presentations and promotions, but I also do stuff for the city, like club events."
"Everybody said it couldn't work here in Charlotte," Darrell says. His first event in 2001 was a short film screening that attracted more than 600 people. After this success, his sponsor asked if he wanted to do places like Raleigh, Memphis and Birmingham, and he readily agreed.
Darrell is the founder and president of the Charlotte Area Black Filmmakers Alliance -- a network nurturing film entrepreneurs.
One of Darrell's earliest film experiences was sitting on his grandmother's lap, as a kid, watching The Wizard of Oz. It was here that his appetite for film gave him a hunger to recreate it.
"A passion for storytelling makes a true filmmaker," Darrell says. "Characterization and the depiction of people, especially African-American people, are very important to me."
"More and more is happening in Charlotte, between The Light Factory, NoDa Film Festival, October Festival and Shorts in the Spirit. I want to do whatever it is I can to help promote independent films."