photo by Kea Taylor

MONDA RAQUEL WEBB is an award-winning author, filmmaker and performing artist. After graduating with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Rhode Island in 1990, Monda began her production career as a traffic coordinator for City Cable 16, a municipal channel in Washington, DC. She served in all aspects of production, from grip, to production assistant, to producer to on-air talent. As producer, she won awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) for Production in several different categories.

Currently Monda combines producing, writing, performing and publishing under her consulting company, Monda Media, LLC, where she pursues her passion for the written word, spoken word, social media, television, and film under one umbrella. She is juror for the NAACP Image Awards and ACT-SO. Monda also judges for several film festivals worldwide.

In 2015, Monda wrote, directed and produced her calling card to the film industry, “Zoo (Volkerschau)”, a short film about the last known human zoo at the 1958 World Fair in Brussels, Belgium. Zoo has won 11 U.S. and International Film Festival Awards, including awards from Spain and Indonesia, for “Best Short (film)”, “Best Script”, “Excellence Award”, "Best International Short" and other categories.

Monda’s award-winning sophomore film “Pooch Sitter”, about a quirky pet-sitter who seeks love and affection from other people’s dogs in an untraditional way, is currently on the film festival circuit, playing 11 festivals in 2019.

Roger Maloney- Tell me what inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Monda Raquel Webb-I love film. To me, it's one of the ultimate forms of visual expression. Film represents my voice and the voices of others who often cannot speak for themselves, for they are women, the ignored, the invisible, the underdog, the everyday heroes who aren't be thanked nearly enough, for their contributions to keep this world running smoothly.

Roger Maloney- Tell me what your film project is about and why you created your project?

 

Monda Raquel Webb - Zoo (Volkerschau) is about a day in the life of an African girl on display for the first time in an Human Zoo at the World's Fair in Brussels, Belgium, 1958. We’re familiar with the horrors of slavery and the brutality of the civil rights movement. We are not as familiar, however, with the concept of Human Zoos, wildly popular in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; with a small run here in the U.S. during the 1904 World’s Fair, and the Bronx Zoo in 1906. Zoo the Movie, simply put, is a story that must be told due to its obscurity, it’s place in history as the genesis of the modern day “peep show”, the blatant exploitation of human beings and the burgeoning, unchecked, imbalanced theory of imperialism. Zoo the movie is as important a story to tell as that of “The Butler”, “Selma”, “12 Years a Slave”, “Belle” and “The Help.”

Roger Maloney- What are some innovative ways your planning to market your films during that Coronavirus shutdown?

Monda Raquel Webb- I'm showing my films as part of discussions on social impact, as well as contributing to actor's classes, to exemplify character acting.

Roger Maloney- What are some ways you are planning to monetizes your film projects?

Monda Raquel Webb -Regarding monetization, it would be nice to secure distribution with one of the streaming services. Thinking about residual money for years to come is exciting.

Roger Maloney- How has the Coronavirus shutdown changed the way you will create films in the future?

Monda Raquel Webb - The shutdown is forcing us all to think creatively, especially with regard to distribution methods.

Roger Maloney- Share some positive advice for future filmmakers?

Monda Raquel Webb- Study your craft. Hone your craft. Be true. Build a good team. Shoot anything and often, for practice, don't get rusty. Prepare yourself as if that big opportunity you've been waiting for has finally arrived. And you are ready!

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