Arleigh Prelow

You can say that I was born to become a filmmaker. I took my first breaths just minutes from the Hollywood sign at Queen of Angels Hospital, Los Angeles, and grew up in the shadow of Hollywood, in Compton, CA.

Going to the movies was a regular part of our family outings. As the screen credits rolled at the beginning and close of each film, I searched for the names of the creative minds behind my movie experience. I was more curious about them than the leading actors and cast... Sadly I did not see many names of women, or persons who “looked like me.”

Still, I was drawn to stories told on screen, particularly the journeys of those who were counted out, then persisted and triumphed. I sensed the power of story to transcend our cultural, racial, and class differences and to connect disparate peoples. In time, I yearned to tell stories of black Americans who inspired us to become our better selves.

"Follow the grain in your own wood"

–HOWARD THURMAN