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    It is so important that an artist reflect the times. It is even more important that an artist be honest with the times, and with themselves. With director James Bland, these criteria serve as a model for his work- as he translates his personal point of view into that which we can not only relate, but want to see played out.

    His most recent work speaks directly to today's societal climate, while still maintaining a nuanced perspective from its varying characters.

    In his own words: "Some key issues I want to explore in my work include black masculinity, sexuality, mental illness, social activism and the flawed American justice system. (...) I write (films) because I have something to say and these are all topics that I have a very strong opinion of base off my personal experience of being a black man who has spent years wearing the mask of masculinity while figuring out how I wanted to identify sexually. One of my best friends is manic depressive. I wrote a character in Giants specifically for her to play because I wanted to give her a place to express how she felt within this illness. As far as social activism and the criminal justice system, we're living in a time where the world is really questioning if black lives matter. Like, that's still a question in 2016. The job of an artist is to reflect the times, so I want to be apart of documenting this era through my work."

    Bland's pieces are visually, and contextually beautiful. And while he creates from a place of utter truth, he inspires his audiences to open themselves up to revelations as well (just like his characters). Though each film is tinged with a slight solemnity, the redemptive quality (whether impending or immediate) is all the more evocative and powerful. The director to watch, James Bland is using his talents in the best possible way.

  • Thula in Turnstyle News

    Thula in Turnstyle News

    It takes a lot for filmmakers to stand out in Los Angeles. After all, there's a whole lot of talent and desire bubbling all over the basin.

    There are an infinite number of paths to making it. Any one could be a dead end. Every one could be the golden ticket. The only mistake is to not try the biggest, boldest thing you can think of.

    What the makers of "Thula," a short film that is having its LA premiere this week, thought of was to fly all the the way to South Africa to shoot a very personal-scale story.

    I recently sat down with the filmmaking team of Jahmela BiggsCaitlin Talbot and James Bland to talk about how they pulled together an international shoot on the back of a crowdfunding campaign. We started with the choice to go to South Africa in the first place.

    Read full article here!



    This past weekend, I wrapped shooting on episode one of the new series I'm directing called "First" starring Jahmela Biggs and Will Catlett. The series is created and written by Jahmela and her and Will are like magic together on screen. This was the 5th project Jahmela and I have done together. She's a great talent and friend, but this was our first time acting together. I'm starting to combine the acting and directing and I think it went pretty smooth. Can't wait to share it with the world. Many thanks to the cast and crew pictured above.