Nina Lee’s directorial debut Artistic is executive produced by Lena Waithe stars Marshawn Lynch and newcomer Taylor Freeman.
Film director Nina Lee is back with an official trailer for her newest project, Artistic.
Starring Marshawn Lynch and newcomer Taylor Freeman, Artistic is executive produced by Lena Waithe. The short which is Lee’s directorial debut introduces the story of Imani (Taylor Freeman), a little girl with Down syndrome who befriends a neighborhood drug dealer, Nina also appears in the short. Artistic was inspired by a child Lee met as a special needs substitute teacher.
When Nina met the child years ago, she recalls meeting them and discussing the Bape shirt she had on, and a pair of Yeezys. The girl also expressed these pieces were gifts from a drug dealer. Lee later learned that the student was previously a drug runner who had been caught but never charged, by the police. Additional inspirations behind the debut include the director’s first-hand experience with loved ones struggling with addiction. Her late cousin Billie, who also had Down Syndrome was another source of inspiration.
“After I completed [Artistic] I actually was really depressed, the excitement around pre-production, and [when] you’re looking for your actors, and you find out you have Marshawn Lynch, I [also] found the perfect actress in Taylor Freeman, and everyone was down to help,” she told Okayplayer. “The energy gets even higher when you’re on set with everyone. All of that pretty much goes away.”
From September 2020 to April of last year, Lee and her team made up of two producers worked on Artistic. She is unable to detail what led her to get out of her creative funk, but she admits that she eventually got her voice back. This led to the completion of the film and voiceovers by Taylor.
So far Artistic has debuted at five festivals including The Chicago International Film Festival and the New Orleans Film Festival. Lee on the festival circuit: “It’s going really well, it’s so hard to get into festivals. You’re competing against anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 films,” she said.
“Working with Taylor was my favorite part of making this film, she is a joy and I’m so proud of her as she finishes up her freshman year at Clemson,” Nina adds.
Artistic was written and directed by Nina Lee. Hillman Grad Productions and Beast Mode Productions served as exec producers.
Take a look at the official trailer for Artistic below.