Nef Film is a one of the kind female director on the rise who embodies her fascination with motion pictures. Passionate about her interests, she eventually moved from her hometown in Maryland to New York for film school.
Once established in the city and introduced to other talented filmmakers, Nef decided to partake in a documentary for Pharrell Williams’ “i am OTHER” campaign. The visual went viral, featuring her friends and the Flatbush Zombies, reaching the attention of Pharrell himself.
After obtaining a degree in film, she moved to Houston for a year and ended up directing a video for upcoming rapper Playboi Carti with @Intheskywdmds. The video received some great reviews and even reached over a million views on Youtube.
Recently, she’s been focusing on her interests with film festivals and how many films exist for women of color. Her next film is in the works and will release on her website sometime this summer. Nef feels the title Cinephile and “Color Theorists” best describes her passion for the art and that stories are told through colors.
What exactly inspired you to begin your profession and when did you officially start?
I think going to Blockbuster as a kid and moving to NYC in 2009 really inspired me to fall in love with film. My mom always kept creative energy around me and we would go rent movies and grab snacks from the dollar store as a treat. Watching films felt like a getaway almost like an escape from my own reality.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far and why?
I really haven’t reached my peak yet but I think recently when Pharrell acknowledged my love for colors and film, that really made me happy. I know he has a great eye and I know we’ve been following each other on social media for some time, so for him to reach out really made my day better. It was cool. He’s cool. I see him as my peer and I’m also a fan of his work ethic.
How has your life changed since you began your journey and what are you expecting next?
I think the main thing that has changed in my life is being able to constantly be around art and people that inspire me. Maryland and DC has a great art scene but for some reason we never get the recognition that we deserve. So I’m hoping that me relocating to NYC, I can help bring attention to my city and what we are birthing there. My film Color Outside The Lines will be released this year and it will show the beauty of playing with different colors and using color theory to bring emotions to your film.
What characteristics do you believe are important to have in order to be successful and why?
I think being able to meet deadlines and focusing on your own art makes for a great success story. Living in a time when people who are famous or celebrities can easily take from the underground can be stressful and sometimes make us angry but just focusing on getting your art done and to the people that motivate you to keep pushing through are very important. Your time will come. My time will come. The only difference is I don’t plan on leaving once I break down that door.
For the young generation inspired by your achievements, what advice could you offer to those pursuing a career in the entertainment industry?
Less is more. Less friends. Less stress. Less comparisons. Just focus on you and don’t compromise your art for anyone or any dollar.
What prominent individuals in entertainment would you compare yourself to and why?
No one. But Stanley Kubrick, Spike Jonze and Kanye, they all have a vision I really appreciate. My friends are the only people I would actually compare myself to because they are just all geniuses.
How did you feel you contribute to the innovation of art, and what message are you trying to perceive from your influence?
Color is everywhere and I am just going to show how amazing color is in films. Cinematography. The colors you see on the train or maybe even just the color of your skin. Color is such a beautiful thing to me and a subject most of us do not pay attention to. There are tons of Color Theorists out there that explore color in different ways and I’m just trying to make a lane for all of us.