Ramfis Myrthil, Film Producer, Film Consultant and Speaker: Spiritual law, the more you give, the more you get. I’m not looking to get more but it’s just how the universe works so I believe in that, so I give a lot and I get a lot.
Film Courage: What does it mean to give a voice to the voiceless?
Ramfis: Well perfect example is our film Cicada. It’s based off a true story. Matt [Matthew Fifer] shared an intimate part of his life and the abuse that he went through and it was very hard for him to share that. I remember when we were doing test screenings of our film that we’d have people that we don’t know come to the screenings to give feedback because we don’t want people to say what we want to hear, we want constructive criticism. This one guy came at the end, he came up to Matt specifically and said This was me. I’ve never been able to tell anyone and what I’ve went through and thank you so much for making this. You’ve given a voice. That was the first time we had heard it and we’ve traveled all over Europe recently with the film and all over the country with the film. It’s played at various festivals and it was in theaters and there were so many people (so many men) that have come up and shared with the team Matt, myself, Kieran [Kieran Mulcare] that we’ve given them a voice.
Film Courage: Do a lot of them say that they were family members that did this or a friend of the family?
Ramfis: I think it’s a combination of both. They didn’t all go into it in great detail about it but they just wanted to acknowledge that they had gone through it. They understand it and how our project was therapeutic, that was more or less how. Cicada is also about a relationship too. It’s not all about abuse, it’s about two men that find love. It’s about an interracial relationship between these two guys that meet over a summer and it deals with bisexuality which is not touched upon in film a lot and in the interracial relationship the dynamics of that. It also deals with trauma because there’s a lot of trauma around both characters…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
Ramfis Myrthil is a New York-based filmmaker who loves applying a city-grown work ethic to the world of film and media. He has made his name producing films made by people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community, and seeks to promote themes of passion and integrity in all of his work. A founding partner and President of Beast of the East Productions (BOTEP), Ramfis has built a successful and proven body of work as a producer. His most recent achievement, a feature film entitled Cicada (2020), won awards at several film festivals around the world and was purchased by Strand Releasing for North American distribution. Cicada was also sold to several distributors in the UK, Germany, Switzerland,France, Ireland, and several other regions for theatrical release in Fall 2021.
Ramfis got his start in the film industry when he premiered his short film Love and the Small Print (2012) at the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival, where it was picked up by Shorts International for worldwide distribution. He then went on to produce a music video entitled “Any Other Way” for the legendary rock group The Zombies. After that, Ramfis got behind the feature film entitled A Boy, A Girl, and A Dream (2018), which premiered at Sundance and was acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films for theatrical release. More recently, Ramfis found great success in the Tribeca Film Festival Creators Market with his project entitled 5150 (2021), which explores mental illness in the black community. The film was executive produced alongside David Oyelowo.
Ramfis has joined as an advisor for Sundance Film Institute’s Sundance Collab producing program. There he works with a diverse group of worldwide filmmakers, develops and shares works in progress, and helps elevate the voices of independent storytellers. Ramfis’ continued success in the film industry has earned him several accolades around the world. He was named to Stars’ 2018 40 Under 40 list in 2018 and served as a recognized panelist across a variety of film festivals. Ramfis is a regular speaker at the Cannes Film Festival, the UK’s Raindance, and is an established speaker and mentor at South by Southwest. Ramfis’ passion for film is matched only by his drive for sharing his knowledge with the next generation of students, artists, and creators. In this pursuit, Ramfis has served as a judge for the 2018 BAFTA Student Film Awards, a member of PAC (Program Advisory Committee) at Five Towns College, and as an acclaimed speaker at NYU, Columbia University, Hofstra University, and HBCUs across the country. Ramfis’ dedication to giving back is reflected by his international masterclasses taught around production, financing, development, diversity, and social justice. Ramfis also volunteers with Mythic Bridge, The Parity Project, The “I Can Still Do That” Foundation, Teach for America, Schools That Can, Hofstra University’s Youth Film Day, and Blacks on Wall Street. Ramfis continues to share his experience by mentoring students on both coasts as well as working with NPower, a nonprofit organization focused on helping young graduates enter the professional world. Ramfis is an active member of BAFTA NY, The Friars Club, Toastmasters International – SEC Roughriders, a board member at The Long Island Film and TV Foundation, and is a board member at the Hollywood Radio & Television Society (HRTS).
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