Georgia State film alum Noel Braham balances work with community outreach and philanthropy

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Noel Braham (B.A. ’11) continues to find success in the film and television industry, recently taking home two Daytime Emmy nominations for his original short film, “Watchtower.”

“While filming my short drama‘The Millennial,’ I learned my production assistant was a homeless veteran,” said Braham, recalling how the film came to fruition. “Through a series of unfortunate circumstances, he began living in a tent city not far from where I had recently moved. You never know what a person is going through. We place certain stereotypes on people, and ‘Watchtower’ aims to explore those nuances.” Nominated in the “Best Outstanding Special Class – Short Format Daytime Program” and “Outstanding Directing Special Class” categories, Braham’s 15-minute drama tells the story of a military veteran who faces the harsh reality of her living circumstances. Braham wrote, directed and produced the movie, which was inspired by true events.

The Atlanta native started his own entertainment company, Noel Braham Entertainment, to foster creative opportunities for himself and others. In 2018, Braham also founded the Micheaux Film Festival, which provides a platform for emerging independent filmmakers who represent marginalized and disenfranchised segments of the population.

The festival, which takes place at Los Angeles’ iconic Regal Cinemas, is named after Oscar Micheaux, one of the most influential and successful African-American filmmakers of the early 20th century.

“I chose Oscar Micheaux because I know the importance of ownership,” says Braham. “Micheaux created his own lane by writing, producing, directing and distributing his own work during a time when few if any black filmmakers could do so.”

Braham now lives on the West Coast and endeavors to be an industry force, creating award-winning films while benefiting his community. Proceeds from “Watchtower” have been routed to a local nonprofit, Good Seed Community Development Corporation, which provides supportive, nurturing and specialized care for homeless youth in California.

“Georgia State held space for people like me to learn and hone my craft, and then to do what I do now,” Braham said. “Anything I can do to pay that forward is nothing short of an honor.”

The 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be announced on May 5. “Watchtower” then hits the film festival circuit with a screening at the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Festival.

Photo by Brinson + Banks 

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