Harlem Love is a period piece set in the 1920's about a young couple whose relationship is instantly tested. They struggle to find the strength to stay together, ultimately deciding their fate at the altar.
The journey of ”Harlem Love” began when I sat in my colleague’s classroom and glanced over at his bookshelf and saw a book that claimed to have America’s greatest short stories. Intrigued by the book claims I began to sift through each short story; to my surprise there weren’t any short stories by authors of color. Shortly after completing each story I decided to look for a book of short narratives by African-American authors and that’s when I found the book “Black American Short Stories” by John Henrik Clarke.
In “Black American Short Stories” I experienced some of the best literature I’ve ever read. The authors provided writings that contained rich language and cultural relevant text. Black American Short Stories contained written works by authors like, W.E.B Dubois, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, Charles W. Chesnutt and many more. Although all of the aforementioned authors were spectacular there were two authors that I really connected with. Zora Neale Hurston and Rudolph Fisher’s writings immediately created visual images in my head. I knew as soon as I read their stories that their work would be an influence for my next film.
After tons of research on both Rudolph and Zora I noticed both writers were part of a colossal movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. Many scholars debate on when the Harlem Renaissance actually began; however most sources indicate the movement started in 1917 and ending in the mid 1930’s. With these dates in mind, I decided to write a screenplay that takes place in 1920’s Harlem and strategically planned to release it for black history month in 2017 to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. Pulling from my own experiences and implementing some of the language that Zora and Rudolph contained in their writing, I wrote a love story. I was lucky enough to assemble a great cast and crew that cared about the project and was willing to help me bring my vision to fruition. Using my own money and the generous donations from our Indiegogo campaign we were able to create a finished product. Harlem Love is a story about a young couple whose relationship is instantly tested. The goal of this film is for the audience to experience what it takes to unite as one in holy matrimony.
Curtis L Williams
Writer & Director
Director of Photography